Is Concomitant Cholecystectomy Necessary for Asymptomatic Cholelithiasis During Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Obes Surg. 2018 Feb;28(2):469-473. doi: 10.1007/s11695-017-2867-3.


Background: There is not any consensus on concomitant cholecystectomy for asymptomatic gallbladder stones during laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG). The aim of this study was to evaluate the surveillance results of the LSG patients who have asymptomatic gallbladder stones and did not undergo cholecystectomy.

Methods: Patients who underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy with preoperatively detected gallbladder stones and completed at least 6 months follow-up were included in the study. Concomitant cholecystectomy was performed for symptomatic patients while it was not performed for asymptomatic subjects. At the end of the follow-up time, symptoms and signs related to gallbladder disease were recorded. Clinical and demographic characteristics were compared between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

Results: Between February 2012 and October 2016, 312 laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomies were performed. Among the patients, 24 were regarded as asymptomatic cholelithiasis, and cholecystectomy was not performed. The mean follow-up period was 27 (6-58) months. The mean preoperative BMI was 50.0 ± 7.6 kg/m2, and at the end of the follow-up time, it decreased to 35.6 ± 8.8 kg/m2. Five (20.8%) patients experienced biliary colic. Acute cholecystitis or obstructive jaundice was not observed in any of the patients. Characteristics of patients who developed symptomatic gallbladder disease (n = 5) were not significantly different from those of patients who remained asymptomatic (n = 19).

Conclusions: The risk of becoming symptomatic for asymptomatic cholelithiasis is very close to the healthy population after sleeve gastrectomy. Although further studies with a high number of cases are needed, we suggest only observation for asymptomatic gallbladder stones in patients who will undergo sleeve gastrectomy.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Cholecystectomy; Gallbladder disease; Gallstones; Morbid obesity; Sleeve gastrectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asymptomatic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Asymptomatic Diseases / therapy
  • Cholecystectomy / adverse effects
  • Cholecystectomy / methods*
  • Cholelithiasis / complications
  • Cholelithiasis / epidemiology
  • Cholelithiasis / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gallstones / surgery
  • Gastrectomy / adverse effects
  • Gastrectomy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications
  • Obesity, Morbid / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies