Umbilical port versus epigastric port for gallbladder extraction in laparoscopic cholecystectomy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials with trial sequential analysis

Surgeon. 2022 Jun;20(3):e26-e35. doi: 10.1016/j.surge.2021.02.009. Epub 2021 Apr 19.


Background: After laparoscopic cholecystectomy, gallbladder can be extracted either from epigastric/subxiphoid port or umbilical port. We conducted systematic review of randomized controlled trials comparing the two.

Methods: PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted with pre-specified study protocol registered on PROSPERO (CRD42019128662). Multiple databases were searched from inception till 14 September 2019 using search terms "gallbladder", "specimen", "extraction', "extract", "cholecystectomy", "epigastric port", "subxiphoid port" "umbilical port". Outcomes assessed were postoperative pain (visual analog scale at 24 h postoperatively), port-site hernia, port-site infection, operative time and gallbladder retrieval time. Data were analyzed using random-effects models with risk ratios (RR) for dichotomous variables and mean difference (MD) for continuous variables.

Results: Of 280 articles retrieved, 9 RCT's with 1036 participants were included. Quality of included studies was judged to be "moderate" to "low". There was no difference in postoperative pain at 24 h (p = 0.76), total operative time (p = 0.11), gallbladder retrieval time (p = 0.72) or surgical site infection (p = 0.93). Umbilical port retrieval was associated with significantly higher risk of port-site herniae (RR 2.68, 95%CI:1.06-6.80, p = 0.04). After sensitivity analysis, operative time was significantly shorter with epigastric retrieval (p = 0.0007). Trial sequential analysis showed that current studies were successful in achieving optimum information size for primary outcome.

Conclusions: There was no difference in postoperative pain and infections between umbilical and epigastric port retrieval. Umbilical port retrieval was associated with significantly higher risk of developing port-site hernia and could also be associated with longer operative time. Epigastric port may be favorable for gallbladder retrieval in multiport laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Keywords: Gallbladder; Hernia; Infection; Laparoscopic cholecystectomy; Laparoscopy; Pain; Specimen retrieval.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic* / adverse effects
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic* / methods
  • Gallbladder / surgery
  • Hernia
  • Humans
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Pain, Postoperative / surgery
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic