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Endoscopy. 1992 May;24(4):252-61.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: technical performance, safety and patient's benefit.

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Surgical Clinic, University of Cologne, Germany.


Laparoscopic cholecystectomy seems to be the most promising new technique for the treatment of symptomatic gallstone disease. For different reasons, controlled clinical trials comparing comfort and trauma for the patient of conventional versus laparoscopic cholecystectomy are difficult to perform at our institution. We therefore report on the results of our first 400 laparoscopic cholecystectomies using a strict and detailed protocol on technical performance, safety and benefit for the patient. Data was obtained immediately after the operation and after a short-term follow-up. To analyze the technical performance and the safety of the procedure, we developed a new classification system (I-V) of adverse events, including both the patients' and the surgeons' viewpoints. Our results show that in nearly 80% of the cases an optimal result (no adverse events in any respect) was obtained. For different reasons, the surgical procedure had to be changed during the operation in 20 cases (5%). In 3 cases (0.8%), an injury of the common bile duct occurred; 2 patients died (mortality 0.5%). On the first post-operative day, vomiting occurred in only 8% and nausea in 19% of the patients. Pain intensity was always below the level where patients demand analgesic medication and declined near zero the day after the operation. Patients fatigue was measured on a scale from 0-10 and rose from 2.2 preoperatively to 3.3 postoperatively. Only a short hospital stay of 3 days median was required. At short-term follow-up 6 weeks after the operation, pain was only rarely reported, the patients were fit and only 20% avoided some kind of food. We conclude that laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the treatment of choice for this precisely defined patient population with symptomatic gallstone disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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