Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 124–129 | Cite as

Laparoscopic transcystic exploration for single-stage management of common duct stones and acute cholecystitis

  • Massimo ChiarugiEmail author
  • Christian Galatioto
  • Luigi Decanini
  • Adolfo Puglisi
  • Piero Lippolis
  • Chiara Bagnato
  • Sonia Panicucci
  • Marco Pelosini
  • Pietro Iacconi
  • Massimo Seccia



Common bile duct (CBD) stones are found in 10% of patients who undergo elective laparoscopic surgery for gallstone disease and in 10–20% of patients who present with acute cholecystitis (AC). For the latter, the role of laparoscopic transcystic exploration of the common duct (LTCE) as part of a single-stage procedure is still unknown.


This study, based on a “laparoscopy first” policy, included 201 subjects with cholecystocholedocholithiasis: 104 underwent a scheduled laparoscopic surgery (group A), and 97 where admitted for AC and had urgent laparoscopy (group B). Group B patients were significantly older (68.4 vs. 62.1 years; P = 0.0045), had a higher proportion of women (56% vs. 41%; P = 0.0345), and included more patients in the ASA III–IV class (39% vs. 21%; P = 0.0006). LTCE was performed by using basket-wired catheters. CBD clearance, operating time, conversion rate, morbidity and mortality, postoperative hospital stay, readmission, and residual CBD stones were the main outcome measures.


Clearance of CBD was obtained in 84% of patients of group A and in 80% of patients of group B (P = not significant). Time spent in the operating room was longer for group B (175 vs. 141 min; P = 0.0003). There were no significant differences for postoperative hospital stay (group A 4.9 vs. group B 5.2 days), readmission rate (3.7% vs. 3.7%), and residual CBD stones (2.8% vs. 3.1%). Need to convert and morbidity occurred more frequently in group B (11.7% vs. 4.6% and 28.7% vs. 16.8%, respectively), but differences were not significant. In group A, one patient died from MOFS.


LTCE has proved to be a simple technique with a high yield of CBD clearance in the acute setting. Courses are comparable to those observed for the same procedure in elective surgery despite the fact that patients with AC are more at risk for drawbacks.


Gallstone disease Common bile duct Acute cholecystitis Cholecystectomy Laparoscopy 



Drs. Chiarugi, Galatioto, Decanini, Puglisi, Lippolis, Bagnato, Pancicucci, Pelosini, Iacconi and Seccia have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Massimo Chiarugi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Galatioto
    • 1
  • Luigi Decanini
    • 1
  • Adolfo Puglisi
    • 1
  • Piero Lippolis
    • 1
  • Chiara Bagnato
    • 1
  • Sonia Panicucci
    • 1
  • Marco Pelosini
    • 1
  • Pietro Iacconi
    • 1
  • Massimo Seccia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Pisa Medical SchoolPisaItaly

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