Cholecystectomy for biliary dyskinesia: how did we get there?

Dig Dis Sci. 2014 Dec;59(12):2850-63. doi: 10.1007/s10620-014-3342-9. Epub 2014 Sep 6.


Background: The focus of biliary dyskinesia (BD) shifted within the last 30 years, moving from symptoms after cholecystectomy (CCY) to symptoms with morphological normal gallbladder, but low gallbladder ejection fraction.

Methods: We searched the pubmed database to systematically review studies focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of gallbladder dysfunction.

Results: Impaired gallbladder contraction can be found in about 20% of healthy controls and an even higher number of patients with various other disorders. Surgery for BD increased after introduction of laparoscopic CCY, with BD now accounting for >20% of CCY in adults and up to 60% in pediatric patients. The majority of cases reported were operated in the USA, which differs from surgical series for cholelithiasis. Postoperative outcomes do not differ between groups with abnormal or normal gallbladder function.

Conclusion: Functional gallbladder testing should not be seen as an indicator of relevant biliary tract disease or prognostic marker to identify patients who may benefit from operative intervention. Instead biliary dyskinesia should be considered as a part of a spectrum of functional disorders, which are generally managed conservatively. Small proof of concept studies have demonstrated effects of medical therapy on biliary dysfunction and should thus be never tested in appropriately designed trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biliary Dyskinesia / diagnosis*
  • Biliary Dyskinesia / surgery*
  • Cholecystectomy*
  • Gallbladder Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Gallbladder Diseases / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Time Factors