Twenty patients, 14 males and 6 females, developed acute cholecystitis while recovering from other operative procedures. A wide variety of procedures preceded the cholecystitis, and more than half the patients had prolonged, complicated postoperative courses. Most patients had right upper quadrant pain and tenderness and decreased bowel sounds. Right upper quadrant mass, distention, and jaundice were also common. The white blood cell count, serum bilirubin, glutamic oxalic transaminase and alkaline phosphatase were elevated in the majority of the patients in whom these were measured. Cholecystectomy was done in all cases and the common bile duct explored in 4. All specimens showed acute inflammatory changes, and 7 were partially gangrenous. Only one-half of the patients had cholelithiasis. Bacteria were cultured from 9 of 16 specimens, and a preceding infection, in which the same organism was cultured from bile, was present in only 4 patients. Many patients were elderly and had had long, complicated courses after their initial operation which may have led to decreased perfusion and tissue hypoxia, making the gallbladder susceptible to any insult.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Bell GA, Holubitsky IB: Acute cholecystitis following unrelated surgery. Can Med Assn J 101:615, 1969
Leon W: Acute cholecystitis following unrelated surgery. Am Surg 20:549, 1954
Schwegman CW, DeMuth WE Jr: Acute cholecystitis following operation for unrelated disease. Surg Gynecol Obstet 97:167, 1953
Thompson JW III, Ferris DO, Baggenstoss AH: Acute cholecystitis complicating operation for other disease. Ann Surg 155:489, 1962
Knudson RJ, Zuber WF: Acute cholecystitis in the postoperative period. N Engl J Med 269:289, 1963
Glenn F: Acute cholecystitis following the surgical treatment of unrelated disease. Ann Surg 126:411, 1947
Glenn F, Wantz GE: Acute cholecystitis following the surgical treatment of unrelated disease. Surg Gynecol Obstet 102:145, 1956
Guidry LD: Acute postoperative cholecystitis: a clinical and pathologic study of twenty-five cases. Master's Thesis, University of Minnesota Graduate School, 1959
Levin MN: Acute cholecystitis following surgery unrelated to the biliary tract. JAMA 177:644, 1961
Lindberg FF, Grinnan GLB, Smith L: Acalculous cholecystitis in Viet Nam casualties. Ann Surg 171:152, 1970
Cole WH, Novak MV, Hughes EO: Experimental production of chronic cholecystitis by obstructive lesions of the cystic duct. Ann Surg 114:682, 1941
Thomas CG Jr, Womack NA: Acute cholecystitis, its pathogenesis and repair. Arch Surg 64:590, 1952
Hoerr SO, Hazard JB: Acute cholecystitis without gallbladder stones. Am J Surg 111:47, 1966
About this article
Cite this article
Howard, R.J., Delaney, J.P. Postoperative cholecystitis. Digest Dis Sci 17, 213–218 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02232293
- Bile Duct
- Alkaline Phosphatase
- Common Bile Duct
- White Blood Cell Count