Complications of spilled gallstones following laparoscopic cholecystectomy: a case report and literature overview

Journal of Medical Case Reports 07/2009; 3:8626. DOI: 10.4076/1752-1947-3-8626
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Gallbladder perforation is common and occurs in 6 to 40% of laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedures. In up to a third of these cases, stones are not retrieved and complications can arise many years post-operatively. Diagnosis can be difficult and patients may present to many specialties within medicine and surgery. We seek to present our case and review the literature on prevention and management of "lost" stones.
Our patient is a 77-year-old woman who presented to the urology clinic with a loin abscess that developed five years after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Radiological studies showed retained abdominal gallstones and an associated abscess formation. These were drained under ultrasound guidance on several occasions and the patient now suffers from chronic sinusitis. Due to her age and comorbidities, she has declined definitive surgical intervention to remove the stones.
Gallbladder perforation during laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a reasonably common problem and may result in spilled and lost gallstones. Though uncommon, these stones may lead to early or late complications, which can be a diagnostic challenge and cause significant morbidity to the patient. Clear documentation and patient awareness of lost gallstones is of utmost importance, as this may enable prompt recognition and treatment of any complications.


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