The Role of Staging Laparoscopy in Primary Gall Bladder Cancer—An Analysis of 409 Patients: A Prospective Study to Evaluate the Role of Staging Laparoscopy in the Management of Gallbladder Cancer

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To evaluate the role of staging laparoscopy (SL) in the management of gallbladder cancer (GBC).


A prospective study of primary GBC patients between May 2006 and December 2011. The SL was performed using an umbilical port with a 30-degree telescope. Early GBC included clinical stage T1/T2. A detectable lesion (DL) was defined as one that could be detected on SL alone, without doing any dissection or using laparoscopic ultrasound (surface liver metastasis and peritoneal deposits). Other metastatic and locally advanced unresectable disease qualified as undetectable lesions (UDL).


Of the 409 primary GBC patients who underwent SL, 95 had disseminated disease [(surface liver metastasis (n = 29) and peritoneal deposits (n = 66)]. The overall yield of SL was 23.2% (95/409). Of the 314 patients who underwent laparotomy, an additional 75 had unresectable disease due to surface liver metastasis (n = 5), deep parenchymal liver metastasis (n = 4), peritoneal deposits (n = 1), nonlocoregional lymph nodes (n = 47), and locally advanced unresectable disease (n = 18), that is, 6-DL and 69-UDL. The accuracy of SL for detecting unresectable disease and DL was 55.9% (95/170) and 94.1% (95/101), respectively. Compared with early GBC, the yield was significantly higher in locally advanced tumors (n = 353) [25.2% (89/353) vs 10.7% (6/56), P = 0.02]. However, the accuracy in detecting unresectable disease and a DL in locally advanced tumors was similar to early GBC [56.0%, (89/159) and 94.1%, (89/95) vs 54.6% (6/11) and 100% (6/6), P = 1.00].


In the present series with an overall resectability rate of 58.4%, SL identified 94.1% of the DLs and thereby obviated a nontherapeutic laparotomy in 55.9% of patients with unresectable disease and 23.2% of overall GBC patients. It had a higher yield in locally advanced tumors than in early-stage tumors; however, the accuracy in detecting unresectable disease and a DL were similar.

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