Introduction Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) relieves symptomatic cholelithiasis (SC) but may facilitate postoperative gluttony.
Aim To examine changes in body mass index (BMI) and general health of a cohort of patients three years after uncomplicated LC for SC.
Methods Patients were studied three years after uncomplicated LC and compared to age- and gender-matched controls who had undergone non-biliary surgery.Results Forty-two patients and 42 controls were studied. The mean age of the patients was 55 years (range 29–82) versus 54 years (25–82) for controls. Patients undergoing LC increased their mean BMI by 1.8kg/m2. Females were particularly likely to gain weight (mean change in BMI=+2.1), with no significant difference being found between premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Of the 24 LC patients who claimed to continue their low fat diet, the mean BMI changed from 27.6 to 29.6kg/m2. The mean BMI of the 17 people who claimed regular exercise changed less markedly (+1.4) than those who admitted infrequent exercise (+2.1).
Conclusion Selection for LC may identify patients at risk of continuing or resumed aetiological contributors to obesity. Follow-up long after the surgery may therefore be necessary to facilitate additional healthcare interventions.