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Randomized clinical trial of laparoscopic cholecystectomy performed with mini‐instruments

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The outcomes after traditional laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC; one 10‐mm port, one 12‐mm port and two 5‐mm ports) and minilaparoscopic cholecystectomy (MLC; three 3‐mm ports and one 12‐mm port) for gallstone disease were compared.


The study was a randomized, single‐blind trial comparing LC with MLC. Only elective patients were eligible for inclusion. LC was a routine procedure at the institution in which the study was performed, whereas MLC was introduced after a short training period. The randomization period was from January to December 2001.


Of 175 patients who had elective minimal access cholecystectomy during the randomization period, 135 entered the trial: 68 underwent LC and 67 underwent MLC. The groups were matched for age, sex and preoperative characteristics. Median (range) operating times for LC and MLC were similar (45 (20–120) and 50 (20–170) min respectively). Intraoperative and postoperative complication rates, the time for the patient to resume walking, eating and passing stools, and median hospital stay were the same in the two groups. The level of postoperative pain was lower in the MLC group at 1 h (P = 0·011), 3 h (P = 0·012), 6 h (P = 0·003), 12 h (P = 0·052) and 24 h (P = 0·034). Patients who had MLC received fewer injections of analgesic (P = 0·036) and more patients in this group expressed satisfaction with the cosmetic result (P = 0·001).


MLC took a similar time to perform and caused less postoperative pain than the standard laparoscopic procedure. Reducing the port size further enhanced the advantages of laparoscopic over open cholecystectomy. Copyright © 2003 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of General Surgery and Surgical Therapy, Parma University School of Medicine, Parma, Italy 2: Second Service of Anaesthesiology, Parma University School of Medicine, Parma, Italy

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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