Isolated Metastatic Melanoma to the Gallbladder: Is Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Indicated?: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

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Metastatic involvement of the gallbladder in melanoma is rare, but constitutes the most common metastatic lesion involving this organ. The surgical management seems to be indicated for patients with isolated and resectable gallbladder metastases to avoid symptoms or tumor complications. We report on a case of a young woman with an isolated metastatic gallbladder melanoma who presented with symptoms of acute cholecystitis. The patient underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) and lymphadenectomy of the hepatoduodenal ligament. Histology was characteristic for metastatic malignant melanoma. Nodes were negative for metastases. We emphasize the appropriateness of a laparoscopic approach, once ruled out a widespread metastatic disease. It can be done with a remarkably low rate of complications. Gentle manipulation, avoidance of perforation, and use of a retrieval bag for the removal of the gallbladder should be practiced to help minimize the chance of mechanical exfoliation or implantation of malignant cells during LC. In isolated metastatic localization, LC may be curative and provide adequate palliation of symptoms with a short convalescence and a fast recovery.

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