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HPB Surg. 1998;11(2):105-8; discuss 108-9.

Lost stones during laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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Hospital de ClĂ­nicas, Universidad de Buenos Aires.


Gallbladder perforation, with loss of calculi in the abdomen is frequent during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Recent publications report complications in port sites or in the abdominal cavity. A study of 3686 laparsocopic cholecystectomies performed by 6 surgeons was undertaken. In 627 patients, perforation of the gallbladder occurred and in 254 stones were spilled into the abdominal cavity. In 214 they were retrieved and in 40 left in the abdomen. Twelve patients developed complications. Percutaneous drainage was successful in 2 with serous collections. Two patients with abdominal abscesses were reoperated, stones retrieved and the abdomen drained. One patient developed an intestinal obstruction due to a stone in the ileum. One patient who had a cholecystectomy in another hospital developed a paraumbilical tumor. At reoperation a stone was retrieved. In another six patients, stones were found in port sites. Stones lost into the abdomen should be removed because of their potential morbidity, especially if they are large or if infection is present in the gallbladder at the time of initial surgery. There is no indication for routine conversion to open surgery when stone spillage occurs, although patients should be informed to avoid legal consequence, and to hasten early diagnosis of later complications.

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