Extra-biliary complications during laparoscopic cholecystectomy: How serious is the problem?

J Minim Access Surg. 2008 Jan;4(1):5-8. doi: 10.4103/0972-9941.40990.


Objective: To deteremine the incidence, nature and management of extra-biliary complications of laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Materials and methods: This study presents a retrospective analysis of extra-biliary complications occuring during 1046 laparoscopic cholecystectomies performed from August 2003 to December 2006. The study population included all the patients with symptomatic gallstone disease in whom laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed. The extra-biliary complications were divided into two distinct categories: (i) Procedure related and (ii) Access related.

Results: The incidence of access-related complications was 3.77% and that of procedure-related complications was 6.02%. Port-site bleeding was troublesome at times and demanded a re-do laparoscopy or conversion. Small bowel laceration occurred in two patients where access was achieved by closed technique. Five cases of duodenal and two of colonic perforations were the major complications encountered during dissection in the area of Calot's triangle. In 21 (2%) patients the procedure was converted to open surgery due to different complications. Biliary complications occurred in 2.6% patients in the current series.

Conclusion: Major extra-biliary complications are as frequent as the biliary complications and can be life-threatening. An early diagnosis is critical to their management.

Keywords: Extra-biliary complications; lap chole; morbidity; mortality.