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A Prospective Study of Bile Leaks after Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy for Acute Cholecystitis

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Surgeons are increasingly performing laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the setting of acute cholecystitis. The acutely inflamed gallbladder poses a more technically demanding dissection with potential for an increase in bile leak rates. Clinical and subclinical bile leak rates after laparoscopic and open cholecystectomy in the elective setting are known. This study prospectively evaluates the rate of clinical and subclinical bile leaks after laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the setting of acute cholecystitis. One hundred patients underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis, as determined intraoperatively and by history, ultrasound, fever, or leukocytosis. On postoperative Day 1, the patients underwent cholescintigraphy (PIPIDA scan) analyzed by a board-certified radiologist for evidence of bile leaks. Postoperative cholescintigraphy revealed eight scans positive for bile leaks. Regardless of scan result, no patient experienced a clinically symptomatic bile leak. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a safe and effective treatment for acute cholecystitis with acceptable clinical and subclinical bile leak rates.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Riverside Methodist Hospital, Department of Surgery, Columbus, Ohio

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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