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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2003 Jun;38(6):653-8.

Persistent dyspepsia after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The influence of psychological factors.

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Dept. of Surgery, Psychosomatic Unit, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, IRCCS De Bellis Hospital, Castellana Grotte, Italy.



Many patients with gallstone disease continue to report gastrointestinal symptoms after cholecystectomy, but the predictive value of preoperative factors is not well understood. We aimed to investigate whether psychological symptoms can be associated with poor outcome after cholecystectomy in patients with gallstones and dyspepsia.


A sample of 52 consecutive patients with uncomplicated gallstone disease and dyspepsia (conceived in a broader sense to include symptoms of the whole digestive tract) were assessed for psychological (revised 90-item Hopkins Symptom Checklist) and gastrointestinal symptoms (Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale). One year after laparoscopic cholecystectomy, patients rated their gastrointestinal symptoms and were divided into improved and unimproved on the basis of the change in symptoms.


Twenty-one (40.4%) patients did not improve after surgery. Improved and unimproved patients did not differ in terms of sex, age, education or illness duration. Unimproved patients showed significantly higher psychological and dyspeptic symptoms than improved patients before surgery. Logistic regression showed that psychological factors were significantly associated with unimprovement after surgery.


Patients with gallstone disease and dyspeptic symptoms are unlikely to improve 1 year after surgery if they show psychological distress before surgery. Psychological symptoms were strongly associated with poor post-cholecystectomy outcome, thus highlighting the clinical relevance of joint assessment of psychological and gastrointestinal symptoms before surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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