Aim: To assess the initial results of single umbilical incision laparoscopic cholecystectomies (SUILC) performed by the members of the Club Coelio.
Patients and methods: This multicenter study involved 65 consecutive patients undergoing SUILC between September 2008 and December 2009. The operation was performed with a 0° scope in 35 and with a 30° scope in 30 patients. There were 56 women and nine men with a mean age of 49 ± 14 years and a mean body mass index of 25 ± 4. The main perioperative parameters analyzed were duration of operation, conversion, morbidity and duration of hospitalization. One month after surgery, the esthetic result was assessed by each patient on a visual analogue scale (VAS). A VAS score between 9 and 10 was considered as an excellent result.
Results: During laparoscopy, some degree of cholecystitis was seen in 10 patients. Intraoperative cholangiography was performed in 57 patients and the mean duration of operation was 68 ± 22 min. Conversion to conventional laparoscopic cholecystectomy (CLC) was required in eight patients (12%). We noted three complications (4%): two wound abscesses and one hemoperitoneum. The mean hospital stay was 2 ± 1 days. The esthetic result was considered as excellent by 45 patients (69%). Multivariable analysis revealed that duration of operation was shorter after five procedures (61 ± 25 vs. 72 ± 18 min, regression coefficient: -7, P<0.032) and when a 30° scope was used (56 ± 18 vs. 76 ± 20 min, regression coefficient: -14, P<0.011), the conversion rate was higher in cholecystitis (60% [6/10] vs. 4% [2/55], OR: 33, P<0.002) and the percentage of excellent esthetic results was greater in patients who did not required a conversion to CLC (77% [44/57] vs. 12% [1/8], OR: 18, P<0.012).
Conclusions: Our study showed that SUILC is feasible with low morbidity but duration of operation is long and conversion to CLC is frequent in cholecystitis. However, duration of operation decreases with rising experience of the surgeon and when a 30° scope is used. The major value of this technique is cosmetic.
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