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Minim Invasive Surg. 2013;2013:630753. doi: 10.1155/2013/630753. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Chronically symptomatic patients with undetectable gall bladder on ultrasonography could benefit from early cholecystectomy.

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1
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton BN2 5BE, UK.

Abstract

90 percent of symptomatic patients undergoing cholecystectomy have cholelithiasis with 10% categorized as asymptomatic cholecystitis. In both instances, the gallbladder is evident on ultrasonography. In children with symptomatic biliary dyspepsia, the decision to proceed to cholecystectomy is made difficult if choleliths are not seen on ultrasonography. This decision is made even more difficult if the gallbladder itself is not seen on repeated imaging. In a cohort of 54 cholecystectomies, 3 cases, with recurrent right upper quadrant pain and undetectable gallbladders on repeat ultrasonography, were identified. After prolonged observation all underwent successful cholecystectomy. Histology demonstrated a markedly fibrotic and thickened gallbladder in all. Given this experience, we suggest that nonvisibility of the gallbladder, in fact, maybe be a feature of a chronic acalculous cholecystitis. We advise consideration of cholecystectomy for chronic biliary dyspepsia where repeat ultrasonography fails to demonstrate a gallbladder.

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