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01.09.2009 | Ausgabe 9/2009

World Journal of Surgery 9/2009

Lessons Learned from the First 109 Laparoscopic Cholecystectomies Performed in a Single Pediatric Surgery Center

World Journal of Surgery > Ausgabe 9/2009
Ciro Esposito, Francesca Alicchio, Ida Giurin, Flavio Perricone, Giuseppe Ascione, Alessandro Settimi



Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is a frequent operation in adults but is seldom performed in children. A retrospective review of 109 consecutive patients who underwent LC over an 11-year period was performed to see what lessons were learned from this experience.


From January 1996 to January 2007, a total of 109 patients were referred to our unit to undergo LC. Nine adult patients were excluded from the analysis. The remaining 100 pediatric patients form the basis of this report. Isolated cholecystectomies were performed using a four-trocar technique, with a fifth trocar added for cases in which splenectomy was required. One patient with main bile duct dilatation at preoperative echography underwent peroperative cholangiography.


We recorded three anatomic anomalies (3%), two involving the bile duct and one the cystic artery. We recorded four minor problems during surgery: In one case there was failure of the tip of reusable scissors, and in three cases there was a small perforation of the gallbladder during the dissection step. We recorded four (4%) postoperative complications, which required redo surgery: one patient with bleeding from the cystic artery; one case of dislocation of clips positioned on the cystic duct; and two patients with lesions of the main bile duct that had not been detected during surgery. The treatment consisted in choledojejunostomy on postoperative day 7 in one case and suture of the choledocus on a stent positioned using endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography on postoperative day 5 in the second case. Both biliary complications occurred in patients more than 14 years of age. We also recorded one umbilical granuloma.


LC is an effective procedure in children. On the basis of our experience, it seems that major complications can occur even with experienced surgeons, and they are more frequent in teenagers. Biliary or vascular anomalies of the gallbladder are encountered in about 3% of patients.

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