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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361


BALASUBRAMANIAN, A; CHEDDIE, S; NAIDOO, NM  and  SINGH, B. An evaluation of mini-laparotomy cholecystectomy in the laparoscopic era: a rural experience. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2018, vol.56, n.2, pp.36-40. ISSN 2078-5151.

BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is the gold standard for the management of symptomatic cholelithiasis and complications of gallstone disease. Mini laparotomy cholecystectomy (MOC) may be a more appropriate option in the resource constrained rural setting due to its widespread applicability and comparable outcome with LC. The study aimed to provide an epidemiological analysis of gallstone disease in the rural population and to evaluate the outcome of MOC in a rural hospital. METHODS: A retrospective chart analysis of 248 patients undergoing cholecystectomy in a rural regional referral hospital in KwaZulu-Natal from January 2009 to December 2013 was undertaken. RESULTS: Of the 248 patients, the majority were females (n = 211, [85%]). The most frequent indications for cholecystectomy included: biliary colic (n = 115, [46.3%]); acute cholecystitis (n = 80, [32.3%]); gallstone pancreatitis (n = 27, [10.8%]). Forty cases (16.1%) were converted to open cholecystectomy (OC). The median operative time was 40 minutes (range18-57). Twenty-three morbidities (9.3%) occurred including: bile leaks (n = 6, [2.4%]); bleeding from drain site (n = 1, [0.4%]), incisional hernia (n = 8 [3.2%]) and wound sepsis (n = 8 [3.2%]). The median length of hospital stay in patients who underwent MOC was 48 hours (range: 24-72 hours) and the median time to return to work was 10 days (range: 4-14 days). There was one mortality in the entire cohort. CONCLUSION: MOC is a safe and feasible operation for symptomatic cholelithiasis when cholecystectomy is indicated. The low operative morbidity and mortality in the context of a high risk patient profile and complicated gallstone disease makes this procedure an alternative to LC where LC is inaccessible.

Keywords : Mini-cholecystectomy; laparoscopic cholecystectomy; outcome; open cholecystectomy; rural.

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