Background: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) has been the gold standard for symptomatic gallstones for 15 years. During that time, several studies and case reports have been published which outline the possible complications of lost gallstones. The aim of this review is to categorize these complications and to evaluate the frequency and management of lost gallstones.
Data sources: A Medline search from 1987 to 2005 was performed. A total of 111 case reports and studies were found, and all reported complications were listed alphabetically. Eight studies with more than 500 LCs that reported lost gallstones and perforated gallbladder were analyzed for frequency and management of lost gallstones.
Conclusion: Lost gallstones have a low incidence of causing complications but have a large variety of possible postoperative problems. Every effort should be made to remove spilled gallstones to prevent further complications, but conversion is not mandatory.