Do complications related to laparoscopic cholecystectomy influence the prognosis of gallbladder cancer?

  • C. Wullstein
  • G. Woeste
  • S. Barkhausen
  • E. Gross
  • U. T. Hopt
Original Articles



Laparoscopy is thought to worsen the prognosis of gallbladder cancer (GBC) discovered unexpectedly at laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). However, laparoscopy has never been shown to have an influence on patient survival in clinical series.


We performed a two-center retrospective analysis of 28 patients with GBC (11 previously known, 17 unexpectedly discovered by LC) to determine whether laparoscopy and complications related to LC had any influence on the prognosis of GBC. Resectability for cure after LC, survival, and recurrence related to both the procedure itself and complications associated with LC were analyzed.


Of the 17 patients with unexpected GBC, 16 were considered resectable for cure at the time of LC. Advanced disease was detected in eight patients by re staging (n=5) or exploration (n=3). Seven patients (43.8%) underwent reoperation for cure. Mean survival of patients with unexpected GBC was 26.5 months. Mean survival was shorter when complications (bile spillage, injury of common bile duct, or tumor violation) occurred during LC (10.2 vs 33 months, p=0.016). If bile spillage was the only complication at LC, there was also a trend to shorter survival (12 vs 33 months, p=0.061).


Complications during LC significantly worsen the prognosis of GBC. Therefore, bile spillage and excessive manipulation of the gallbladder should be avoided.

Key words

Gallbladder Cancer Laparoscopy Laparoscopic cholecystectomy Complications Prognosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Wullstein
    • 1
  • G. Woeste
    • 1
  • S. Barkhausen
    • 2
  • E. Gross
    • 2
  • U. T. Hopt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General, Thoracic, Vascular, and Transplantation SurgeryUniversity of RostockRostockGermany
  2. 2.Department of General and Thoracic SurgeryGeneral Hospital BarmbekHamburgGermany

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