[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Compared to open surgery, laparoscopic treatment has been shown to have several advantages, including lower levels of postoperative pain, faster recovery, and better cosmetic results. Nevertheless, the advantages of laparoscopy are being debated as possibly not being merely related to biomedical factors.
The study consisted of two sub-studies. In the first study, 150 healthy, previously unoperated volunteers, not employed in the health services, were included. Healthy volunteers, from the latter study, were given questionnaires that presented different sizes of post-operative wounds and examined their perception of the severity of the illnesses that were treated by surgery leading to these wounds. In the second study, data was collected from 65 laparoscopic cholecystectomy patients and 35 patients treated by the open approach cholecystectomy. Patients from the second study were examined prior to operation and 1 month after surgery with a questionnaire evaluating their subjective perception of the disease.
Subjective perception of the severity of disease (SPSD) was similar between the laparoscopy and the open approach cholecystectomy patients before the operation (respectively, 6.25±1.7 and 6.06±2.2; ns). At the follow-up, a significant decrease of SPSD among laparoscopy patients was observed (post-op score = 3.28±0.8, p<0.05 in paired t-Student test), but not in the open approach patients (6.42±1.7, ns in paired t-Student test). The volunteers perceived that the disease of the laparoscopically treated patients was less serious than the disease of those treated with open surgery.
The authors would like to emphasize that the study presents a new approach to the explanation of the so called "laparoscopy phenomenon", i.e. much faster and smoother recovery after relatively larger and more serious surgical procedures. We believe that the benefits observed among the videoscopy patients might be, apart from immunological and pain-related factors, attributed to the psychological influence of cognitive representations of the disease severity on pain, analgetics use, and recovery.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cholecystectomy is a surgical gold-standard procedure for gallbladder diseases, among which gallstones are the most frequent. Despite the introduction of minimally invasive surgery and broad access to ultrasound examination there is a group of patients in whom the surgery ailments persist. Those vague ailments can be perceived from a psychological point of view as somatization or even somatoform disorders.
The aim of the study, designed as a case-control study, was to evaluate psychological characteristics that may accompany the incidence of so-called post-cholecystectomy pain syndrome (PCPS). The study focused on 367 patients treated for gallstones in the Dept. of General, Gastroenterological and Endocrinological Surgery, Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland. At about a year after the operation, the patients received a questionnaire that included a structured interview and psychological assessment of social support and rumination. Those who revealed symptoms of PCPS were invited to the department for further medical and psychological evaluations. Psychosocial scores of PCPS and non-PCPS patients were compared.
The PCPS patients did not present any dysfunction at the physical examination or in gastroduodenoscopy or sonography. However, they differed from the remaining. asymptomatic group in terms of lacking social support, as well as increased rumination.
It is concluded that psychological variables may play an important role in the onset of subjective symptoms in at least a subgroup of the PCPS patients as a form of somatization. Psychological supportive and explanatory activities (cognitive and behavioural approach) may provide sufficient help.
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 03/2004; 39(2):127-32. · 2.16 Impact Factor