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This clinical study evaluated the results of and defined the indications for laparoscopic fenestration of symptomatic nonparasitic hepatic cysts, either solitary or diffuse.Different surgical treatments have been proposed for highly symptomatic hepatic cysts: enucleation, fenestration, hepatic resection, and liver transplantation. The advent of laparoscopic surgery has given new opportunitles but, at the same time, has increased the uncertainties concerning the proper management of these patients.Eight patients with solitary cysts and nine with polycystic liver and kidney disease (PLD) were seen during a period of 2 years. After a careful review of the symptoms, 6 patients were excluded from surgical treatment and 11 (4 solitary cysts and 7 PLD) were treated by laparoscopic fenestration. Postoperative morbidity and mortality rates, hospital stay, and clinical early and late results were evaluated.In the solitary cyst group, there was no surgical morbidity or deaths, and a complete regression of symptoms occurred in all patients. No recurrences were observed. In the PLD group, two patients had to be converted to teparotomic fenestration (28%). There were no deaths, and the surgical morbidity was limited to two cases of postoperative ascites. Symptomatic relief was obtained in 80% of patients, but the symptoms recurred in 60%. A subgroup of PLD at high risk for recurrence was identified.The best indications for laparoscopic fenestration seem to be solitary cyst and PLD characterized by large cysts mainly located on the liver surface (type 1), whereas PLD characterized by numerous small cysts all over the liver (type 2) should be considered a contraindication to laparoscopic fenestration.