Retroperitoneal Abscess Formation as a Result of Spilled Gallstones during Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: An Unusual Case Report

2nd Surgical Department, School of Medicine, "G. Gennimatas" General Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54635 Thessaloniki, Greece.
Case reports in surgery 11/2012; 2012:573092. DOI: 10.1155/2012/573092
Source: PubMed


One of the complications of laparoscopic cholecystectomy for gallstone disease that seems to exceed that of the traditional open method is the gallbladder perforation and gallstone spillage. Its incidence can occur in up to 40% of patients, and in most cases its course is uneventful. However in few cases an abdominal abscess can develop, which may lead to significant morbidity. Rarely an abscess formation due to spilled and lost gallstones may occur in the retroperitoneal space. We herein report the case of a female patient who presented with clinical symptoms of sepsis six months following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Imaging investigations revealed the presence of a retroperitoneal abscess due to retained gallstones. Due to patient's decision to refuse abscess's surgical drainage, she underwent CT-guided drainage. The 24-month followup of the patient has been uneventful, and the patient remains in good general condition.

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Available from: Ioannis Koutelidakis, Oct 04, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Gallbladder perforation during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) with spillage of bile and gallstones occurs in a substantial number of patients (up to 40%). Most surgeons believe that free intraperitoneal stones are not a justification for conversion to laparotomy even if a large number of stones are left in situ. There are, however, a number of reports demonstrating that, on occasion, these unretrieved gallstones may cause infection or abscess, inflammation, fibrosis, adhesions, cutaneous sinuses, small bowel obstruction, or generalized septicemia. The aim of this study was to determine the outcome of unretrieved gallstones in the peritoneal cavity after gallbladder perforation during LC. In a 7-year period between 1989 and 1996, prospective data were maintained on 856 patients who underwent LCs by a single surgeon (R. J.F.). Of the 856 patients, 165 (16%) had gallbladder perforations resulting in lost gallstones in the peritoneal cavity. A concerted attempt was made to remove the lost stones using a variety of extraction devices. Of these 165 patients, 106 (64%) were available for follow-up through mail (76%) and by telephone (24%). The mean age of these patients was 64.9 years (range, 18 to 98 years), and the mean follow-up was 44.8 months (range 4.9 to 92.3 months). Of the 106 patients with unretrieved gallstones, we identified four patients with short-term complications and one patient with a long-term complication. The first patient with a short-term complication had pyrexia for 10 days postoperatively. Diagnostic evaluation, which included computed tomography (CT) scan, failed to reveal any abnormality. The patient was treated conservatively with a course of oral antibiotics. In the second patient, cellulitis developed at a drain site after its removal, which resolved with oral antibiotics. The third patient acquired an umbilical wound abscess, which drained spontaneously, requiring no treatment. A sterile subphrenic collection developed in the fourth patient 1 month postoperatively, which was treated with percutaneous drainage under CT guidance. The only long-term complication was spontaneous erosion of a gallstone from the back of a patient with a questionable history of inflammatory bowel disease 8 months postoperatively. All of the patients made complete recoveries. In most patients, unretrieved gallstones are of no consequence, but complications occur occasionally. It is therefore advisable to retrieve as many gallstones as possible during LC short of converting to a laparotomy.
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    ABSTRACT: Gallstone spillage during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is a common intraoperative event. Although gallstones left in the peritoneal cavity were initially considered harmless, a significant number of complications have been reported. Our aim was to quantify the likelihood, and to document the range, of subsequent complications. A Medline search from 1987 to January 2003 was performed. Articles with more than 500 LCs that quantified the frequency of complications due to peritoneal gallstones were reviewed, as were representative case studies of different stated complications. Six studies, covering 18,280 LCs, were found. The incidence of gallbladder perforation was 18.3%, that of gallstone spillage was 7.3%, and that of unretrieved peritoneal gallstones was estimated to be 2.4%. There were 27 patients with complications. The likelihood of a complication when gallstone spillage occurred was 2.3%, which increased to 7.0% when unretrieved peritoneal gallstones were documented. Spilt gallstones have a small but quantifiably real risk of causing a wide range of significant postoperative problems.
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    ABSTRACT: The increasing use of laparoscopic cholecystectomy has led to an increased frequency of gallbladder perforation and subsequent gallstone spillage in the abdominal cavity. Occasionally unretrieved gallstones can cause infection, adhesions, and obstruction. Furthermore, spilt stones can cause erosion into adjacent organs and can migrate to distant sites, causing a variety of complications. We report the unusual case of a patient who presented with spontaneous erosion of gallstones through Grynfeltt's triangle, 1 year after laparoscopic cholecystectomy and review the current literature.
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