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J Am Coll Surg. 2000 Aug;191(2):158-63.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the treatment of patients with gall bladder cancer.

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Department of Surgery I, Oita Medical University, Japan.



Surgical procedures based on the depth of the primary tumor invasion (pT category) have been proposed in the treatment of gallbladder cancer (GBC). Trocar site metastases have been reported in patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) for preoperatively undiagnosed GBC.


The aim of this study was to clarify the role of LC as a surgical strategy for GBC. From 1986 to 1998, 56 patients with GBC underwent surgical resection. Survival rates were compared retrospectively according to pT category and use of LC.


Five-year survival was 91% for pT1 (n = 13), 64% for pT2 (n = 25), 34% for pT3 (n = 14), and 0% for pT4 tumors (n = 4; p<0.0001). LC was performed on 11 patients (4 with pT1, 5 with pT2, and 2 with pT3 tumors). Of the seven patients with pT2 or pT3 tumors, three underwent a second radical operation, three had an open radical operation to which the procedure was converted from LC, and one underwent no additional procedures. For pT1 tumors, one patient died of trocar site metastasis from bile spillage after LC. For pT2 or pT3 tumors, 5-year survival was 63% for radical surgery (n = 35) and 0% for cholecystectomy alone (n = 4; p<0.05). For pT2 or pT3 tumors treated by radical surgery, 5-year survival was 75% for laparoscopic approach (n = 6) and 60% for open surgery (n = 29; not significant).


LC may help to establish the diagnosis and to determine the surgical strategy for undiagnosed GBC. It is important to prevent spillage or implantation of malignant cells during LC. For pT2 or pT3 tumors diagnosed laparoscopically, a second or converted open radical surgery is necessary.

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