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Safe Laparoscopic Subtotal Cholecystectomy In The Face Of Severe Inflammation In The Cystohepatic Triangle: A Retrospective Review And Proposed Management Strategy For The Difficult Gallbladder

Roderick H. Purzner, K. B. Ho, E. Al-Sukhni, S. Jayaraman
Published 2019 · Medicine

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Background Laparoscopic subtotal cholecystectomy (LSC) can be employed when extensive fibrosis or inflammation of the cystohepatic triangle prohibits safe dissection of the cystic duct and artery. The purpose of this study was to compare postoperative outcomes in patients with severe cholecystitis who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) or LSC. Methods In this retrospective study, we compared the postoperative outcomes of patients with severe cholecystitis who underwent LC or LSC between July 2010 and July 2016 at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto. We further stratified LSC cases on the basis of the extent of gallbladder (GB) dissection and GB remnant closure. Results A total of 105 patients who underwent LC and 46 who underwent LSC were included in the study. There were 4 bile duct injuries in the LC group and 0 in the LSC group. Bile leaks (relative risk [RR] 3.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–11.5) and subphrenic collections (RR 3.1, 95% CI 1.3–8.0) were more common in the LSC group. Overall postoperative morbidity did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. Postoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) (RR 3.2, 95% CI 1.1–9.5) and biliary stent insertion (RR 4.6, 95% CI 1.2–17.5) were more common in the LSC group. Bile leaks appeared to be more prominent with open GB remnants but all cases of leak were successfully managed with ERCP and biliary stenting. Conclusion LSC may mitigate the risk of bile duct injury when dissection into the cystohepatic triangle is unsafe. There were more bile leaks in patients who underwent LSC; however, they were readily managed with endoscopic stents. Long-term biliary fistulae were not observed. LSC should be considered early as a means of completing difficult cholecystectomies safely without the need for cholecystostomy tube or conversion to laparotomy.
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