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Am Surg. 1992 Feb;58(2):96-9.

Electrosurgical laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.


Though laparoscopic cholecystectomy has become widespread, questions remain as to its success rate, its role in acute cholecystitis, the role of cholangiography, and whether laser use is necessary. To attempt to answer these questions, the first 100 patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy at Emory University using electrosurgical diathermy were reviewed. Patients underwent cholecystectomy for biliary colic (87), gallstone pancreatitis (1), and acute cholecystitis (12). The average length of hospital stay was 29 hours (range: 12 hours to 5 days). Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was not possible in 7 patients because of gangrenous cholecystitis (2), adhesions from previous surgery (2), equipment failure (2), and choledochoduodenal fistula found at surgery (1). Two patients developed bile leaks from accessory bile ducts that healed spontaneously. There were no other complications. The average time required to complete the laparoscopic cholecystectomy was 115 minutes (range: 45 to 238 minutes) and was not significantly different in those patients undergoing intraoperative cholangiography (117 minutes) versus those without (109 minutes). Common duct stones were uncommon in this series. Thirty-three patients underwent intraoperative cholangiogram. One patient was found to have a common duct stone, which was pushed into the duodenum using a Fogarty catheter (American Edwards Laboratories; Anasco, Puerto Rico) inserted through the cystic duct at the time of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Twelve patients with acute cholecystitis underwent an attempt at laparoscopic cholecystectomy that was successful in nine. These procedures were difficult and lengthy (mean of 143 minutes). Causes for failure were gangrenous cholecystitis (2) and equipment failure (1). In conclusion, laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed with a high success rate (93%) and low morbidity (2%). No complications seemed attributable to electrosurgical dissection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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