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Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy for Chronic Cholecystitis in Jamaican Patients with Sickle Cell Disease: Preliminary Experience



Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, with its advantages of reduced postoperative pain and shorter hospitalization is the accepted standard of care for patients with symptomatic cholelithiasis. A retrospective study was done to assess the outcome of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in patients with sickle cell disease, a group known for its high postoperative morbidity. The study sample comprised of patients seen at the University Hospital of the West Indies during the period 1999 to 2004. Twelve patients were females and four were males.Their mean age was 28.5 years (range 13–43 years). Fifteen underwent elective cholecystectomy for recurrent episodes of cholecystitis while one patient required an emergency procedure. All patients underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, which successfully removed common bile duct stones which were present in 25% of the cases. There were four conversions to open cholecystectomy as a result of obscure anatomy due to scarring and adhesions. The duration of surgery ranged from 70–150 minutes. Six patients developed postoperative complications, four of whom had acute chest syndrome. This resulted in death in one patient. The mean postoperative hospitalization period was 5.5 days. This report indicates that patients with sickle cell disease remain a high risk group with the potential for significant morbidity even when subjected to minimal access surgery.

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e-Published: 06 Jun, 2013
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