Routine Administration of Antibiotics to Patients Suffering Accidental Gallbladder Perforation During Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is not Necessary

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Abstract

Introduction

Accidental rupture of the gallbladder is an event which occurs in up to 20% of laparoscopic cholecystectomies, mainly in those where dissection is difficult, or during extraction when the gallbladder is withdrawn directly through the laparoscope port. It has been commonly assumed that contamination by bile in the abdominal cavity could be a cause of infection and lead to the formation of a residual abscess or even to surgical wound infection. It is common practice, therefore, for the surgeon to prescribe the application of an antibiotic at the moment when gallbladder perforation occurs.

Objective

To compare 2 groups of similar patients, to determine whether administration of antibiotics, started during surgery, is actually useful in reducing the risk of residual abscess or infection in the surgical wound.

Patients and Method

The study considered a total of 166 patients who had suffered accidental perforation of the gallbladder during elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This total was divided at random into 2 groups: group A (80 patients) who received a dose of 1 g of Cefotaxime at the moment of gallbladder rupture, followed by 2 more doses at intervals of 8 hours in the immediate postoperative period; and group B (86 patients) who did not receive any antibiotic treatment at all. The dependent variables observed were surgical wound infection and residual abscess: and the control variables were age, sex, length of operation time, intercurrent illnesses, and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification.

Results

Two patients (2.5%) in group A developed a surgical wound infection, against 3 cases (3.4%) in group B, the result having no statistical significance. No patients developed residual abscess. In a multivariant analysis, the following were identified as independent factors significantly associated with the onset of surgical wound infection (P<0.001): diabetes mellitus, being over 60 years of age, operation time lasting longer than 70 minutes, and ASA 3.

Conclusions

Routine application of an antibiotic to patients experiencing accidental perforation of the gallbladder during laparoscopic cholecystectomy is not necessary. In the case of patients with diabetes mellitus, those who are older than 60, or who have an ASA classification of 3 or more, or if the operation itself is likely to last more than 70 minutes, the recommendation is to start antibiotic therapy in the preoperative phase immediately before surgery.

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