Background: Single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy (SILC) has become increasingly popular but its role in acute cholecystitis remains controversial.
Methods: We compared the clinical features and outcomes of SILC procedures between 52 patients with acute cholecystitis (the AC group) and 308 patients without acute cholecystitis (the NAC group). We also analyzed clinical variables to identify factors affecting difficulties associated with SILC for acute cholecystitis.
Results: The patients in the AC group were significantly older than those in the NAC group (72 vs. 61 years, median, P = 0.0005). The preoperative levels of white blood cell counts were significantly higher in the AC group than in the NAC group (6600 vs. 5500/μL, P = 0.0004). The operative time was significantly longer in the AC group than in the NAC group (188 vs. 135 min, P < 0.0001). The volume of intraoperative blood loss was significantly larger in the AC group than in the NAC group (20 vs. 5 mL, P < 0.001). Furthermore, additional trocar insertion was required in 12% in the NAC group, whereas it was required in 60% in the AC group (P < 0.0001). Regarding the difficulties of SILC for acute cholecystitis, delayed operation (after 72 h from the onset) was significantly associated with a prolonged operative time, while a higher grade of acute cholecystitis (grade II or III) was significantly associated with an increased blood loss during surgery.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that when compared to SILC for gallbladder diseases without acute inflammation, SILC for acute cholecystitis was associated with a longer operative time, increased blood loss, higher rate of additional trocar requirement, higher rate of postoperative complications, and longer hospital stay. The difficulties associated with SILC for acute cholecystitis were affected by the timing of surgery and the grade of inflammation.
Keywords: Acute cholecystitis; Early cholecystectomy; Grade of acute cholecystitis; Single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
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