Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy in the Cirrhotic: Review of Literature on Indications and Technique

Chirurgia (Bucur). 2020 Mar-Apr;115(2):208-212. doi: 10.21614/chirurgia.115.2.208.


Cholelithiasis is twice more common in patients suffering from liver cirrhosis compared to overall population and in those patients, acute cholecystitis occurs significantly more often. Our goal was to review the literature and to overview the indications, contra-indications, and alternatives in the cirrhotic with biliary stones. We conducted a systematic review of the literature using the key words "Cirrhosis", "cholecystectomy", "laparoscopy"and "indications". Selected articles were reviewed for information specific to indications, contra-indications, and alternatives to laparoscopic cholecystectomy in cirrhotics. Results showed that laparoscopic cholecystectomy might offer several advantages in cirrhotic population, however cholecystectomy can be challenging: specific indications and alternatives to surgery must be discussed case by case. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed safely in selected patients with cirrhosis; special precautions are warranted regarding pneumoperitoneum pressure, trocar placement and increased safety with Indocyanine-green (ICG) fluorescence cholangiography. Nevertheless, in high-risk cirrhotic patients (Child C) and/or in common bile duct lithiasis endoscopic and non-surgical conservative treatments are preferable.

Keywords: cholecystectomy; cirrhosis; laparoscopy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholangiography
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic / methods*
  • Cholecystitis, Acute / etiology
  • Cholecystitis, Acute / surgery*
  • Cholelithiasis / etiology
  • Cholelithiasis / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*