Gallstones and laparoscopic cholecystectomy

NIH Consens Statement. 1992 Sep;10(3):1-28.


The National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on Gallstones and Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy brought together surgeons, endoscopists, hepatologists, gastroenterologists, internists, radiologists, and epidemiologists as well as other health care professionals and the public to address (1) the indications for treatment of patients with gallstones; (2) the role of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in treating patients with gallstones; (3) the role of alternative medical and surgical treatments for gallstones; (4) the comparative results of laparoscopic cholecystectomy with open cholecystectomy and other available treatments; (5) techniques for detecting and treating bile duct stones with or without laparoscopic cholecystectomy; and (6) future directions for research in prevention and management of gallstone disease and in laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Following 2 days of presentations by experts and extensive discussion by the audience, a consensus panel weighed the evidence and prepared their consensus statement. Among their findings, the panel concluded that (1) most patients who experience symptoms of gallstones should be treated; (2) in comparison with open cholecystectomy, laparoscopic cholecystectomy provides a safe and effective treatment for most patients with symptomatic gallstones and has become the treatment of choice for many patients; (3) patients who are not good candidates for laparoscopic cholecystectomy include those with generalized peritonitis, septic shock from cholangitis, severe acute pancreatitis, endstage cirrhosis, and gallbladder cancer; (4) laparoscopic cholecystectomy decreases pain and disability without increasing mortality and morbidity and can be performed at an equal or lower cost than open cholecystectomy; and (5) every effort should be made to ensure that surgeons performing laparoscopic cholecystectomy are properly trained and credentialed. The full text of the consensus panel's statement follows.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Consensus Development Conference, NIH
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bile Acids and Salts / therapeutic use
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic*
  • Cholelithiasis / diagnosis
  • Cholelithiasis / therapy*
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Lithotripsy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Bile Acids and Salts