Medline: 7582223

Journal of the American College of Surgeons 181(6): 504-510, 1995.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy can disseminate in situ carcinoma of the gallbladder.

Wibbenmeyer LA, Wade TP, Chen RC, et al.


Early case reports suggest more frequent and rapid recurrences of carcinoma of the gallbladder after laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) than after open cholecystectomy. This cancer has a poor prognosis and occurs in 1 percent of patients who undergo cholecystectomies. STUDY DESIGN: A recent community hospital series of gallbladder carcinoma (GBC) was reviewed and the total reported experience of GBC after LC was compiled. Diagnostic findings were compared for patients with GBC and a consecutive series of 24 patients who had LC for benign disease.

Nine patients with GBC were found among 928 patients who had undergone cholecystectomy (0.97 percent incidence). Compared to patients without GBC, patients with carcinoma were older, had thicker gallbladder walls, and had more abnormalities detected intraoperatively (all p < or = 0.05). Recurrence of GBC occurred more rapidly after LC, and in diffuse peritoneal and port sites when compared with recurrence patterns after open cholecystectomy.

In patients with GBC, LC may be sufficient when the disease is confined to the gallbladder mucosa and the gallbladder is excised intact without bile spillage. However, patients whose gallbladders are torn during dissection or patients who have invasive tumors should undergo laparotomy and local reexcision. In situ GBC can be implanted if the organ is torn during dissection. When gallbladders with suspicious wall thickening or adhesions are noted at LC, especially in older patients, the procedure should be converted to open cholecystectomy.

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