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ABSTRACT: Pulmonary complications remain a leading cause of morbidity after major abdominal operations. To compare pulmonary function and the frequency of pulmonary complications after laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) and open cholecystectomy (OC). Fifty-five patients with symptomatic gallstone disease undergoing elective cholecystectomy (LC 40, OC 15) under general anesthesia were evaluated using pulmonary function tests (forced vital capacity [FVC], forced expiratory volume at 1 second [FEV1], and forced expiratory flow at 25% to 75% [FEF25% -75%], chest X-ray and pulse oximetry before and after surgery. FVC, FEV1 and FEF25% -75% decreased by 21.5%, 21.2% and 30.3%, respectively, on postoperative day 1 following LC, and by 44.3%, 46.2% and 58.3%, respectively, after OC. Chest X-ray showed atelectasis in 15% of patients undergoing LC and 45% of those with OC. Impairment in pulmonary function after LC was less marked than after OC.Indian Journal of Gastroenterology 01/2005; 24(1):6-8.