Article

Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1374-1379

Single-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy: initial experience

  • John R. RomanelliAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Thomas B. RoshekIIIAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • , David C. LynnAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • , David B. EarleAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine

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Abstract

Background

As surgeons embrace the concept of increasingly less invasive surgery, techniques using only a single small incision have begun to gain traction. Several commercially available products have emerged recently. The TriPortTM system and the SILSTM Port are single-port devices that allow the surgeon to perform laparoscopic surgery through a 2- to 3-cm periumbilical incision. This study aimed to ascertain whether these devices allow safe and reliable access for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Methods

From March 2008 to June 2009, single-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy was attempted for 22 patients with an average age of 40 years (range, 23–73 years). The data collected prospectively after institutional review board approval included demographics, operative time, complications, and reasons for conversion to standard four-port laparoscopic surgery.

Results

The operation was completed successfully for 21 of the 22 patients (15 women and 7 men) using five different techniques. The mean body mass index (BMI) of the patients was 32.7 kg/cm2 (range, 22.3–46.1 kg/cm2). Three of the patients had previously undergone laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The mean operative time was 80.8 min (range, 51–156 min). One patient experienced a Richter’s hernia postoperatively, which required a reoperation and subsequent bowel resection. One patient required conversion to a standard four-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy because the articulating instrument could not reach the gallbladder from the umbilicus.

Conclusion

The results from the current series show single-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy to be a promising technique. A variety of patient demographics appear suited to this approach. The operative time in this series compares favorably with that for the standard four-port operation. The feasibility of single-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy is now established. However, routine application of this novel technique requires an evaluation of its safety and cost effectiveness in larger studies. In addition, its superiority over standard laparoscopic cholecystectomy in terms of postoperative pain, cosmesis, and overall patient satisfaction requires further study. Refinements in instrumentation will enable wider use of this novel minimally invasive approach.

Keywords

Cholecystectomy Laparoscopic surgery Single-port surgery