Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy and Liver Cirrhosis

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Historically the presence of liver cirrhosis has been an absolute or relative contraindication to laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). Accumulating experience in LC has resulted in an increasing number of investigators reporting that LC can be safely performed in cirrhotic patients. The aim of this study was to report the efficacy and safety of LC in the treatment of symptomatic cholelithiasis in cirrhotic patients, and a review of the literature in the matter.


Between January 2006 and July 2010, from 503 patients under LC, we reviewed 43 cirrhotic patients of Child-Pugh Classification A, B, and C, with symptomatic gallstones.


Conversion to an open procedure was necessary in 5 patients due to multiple factors. The mean operative time and length of hospital stay were significantly longer and higher in cirrhotic group (P<0.05). Postoperative complications were observed in 37.2% of patients. Trocar site hematoma (P=0.02), wound complications (P=0.02), and intra-abdominal collection (P=0.01) occurred more frequently in patients with cirrhosis (Child B and C class) than in patients without cirrhosis. One case of continuing hemorrhage from the gallbladder bed required a reoperation for hemostasis. Two patients with Child-Pugh class C and 1 patient with class B cirrhosis developed ascites after surgery; 1 patient with Child-Pugh class A had bile leakage. No deaths occurred.


LC is an effective and safe procedure and should be the treatment of choice for symptomatic cholelithiasis or cholecystitis in patients with compensated cirrhosis.

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