Background: The natural history of gallstone formation after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), the incidence of symptomatic gallstones, and timing of cholecystectomy are not well established.
Methods: A retrospective review of prospectively collected database of 150 patients that underwent LSG was reviewed.
Results: Preoperatively, gallbladder disease was identified in 32 of the patients (23.2%). Postoperatively, eight of 138 patients (5.8%) became symptomatic. Namely, three of 23 patients (13%) who had evident cholelithiasis preoperatively developed complicated cholelithiasis. From the cohort of patients without preoperative cholelithiasis, five of 106 patients (4.7%) experienced complicated gallstones after LSG. Total cumulative incidence of complicated gallstones was 4.7% (95% CI: 1.3-8.1%). The gallbladder disease-free survival rate was 92.2% at 2 years. No patient underwent cholecystectomy earlier than 9 months or later than 23 months indicating the post-LSG effect.
Conclusion: A significant proportion of bariatric patients compared to the general population became symptomatic and soon developed complications after LSG, thus early cholecystectomy is warranted. Routine concomitant cholecystectomy could be considered because the proportion of patients who developed complications especially those with potentially significant morbidities is high and the time to develop complications is short and because of the real technical difficulties during subsequent cholecystectomy.