Laparoscopy: The preferred method of cholecystectomy in the morbidly obese

R. H. Miles, R. E. Carballo, R. A. Prinz, M. McMahon, G. Pulawski, R. N. Olen, D. L. Dahlinghaus, M. Deitel, F. O. Belzer, H. Buchwald, J. R. Starling, J. J. Monge, J. W. Maher

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82 Scopus citations


Background. Morbid obesity has been considered a contraindication to laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). Methods. To evaluate this we reviewed our first 201 patients undergoing LC and compared the operative procedure and outcome in morbidly obese (≥100 pounds over ideal body weight [IBW]) and nonobese patients. We also compared a group of morbidly obese patients who underwent standard open cholecystectomy (n = 11) with the obese group undergoing LC (n = 21). All groups were comparable in terms of age, sex, and symptoms (acute vs chronic). The obese groups undergoing LC and open cholecystectomy had similar weights (134.0 ± 9.4 pounds over IBW [range, 100 to 286 pounds] and 133.8 ± 6.0 pounds over IBW [range, 108 to 170 pounds], respectively) and were significantly different from the nonobese group undergoing LC (28.3 ± 2.0 pounds over IBW [range, 23 to 98 pounds]). Parameters evaluated included operative time, resumption of normal diet, length of postoperative hospitalization, complications, conversion to open procedure, and ability to perform cholangiography. Results. There were no statistically significant differences between the obese and nonobese groups undergoing LC in any parameters studied (operative time, 151.7 ± 4.0 minutes vs 160.7 ± 9.9 minutes; tolerance of diet, 1.2 ± 0.1 days vs 1.1 ± 0.1 days; time to discharge, 2.0 ± 0.1 days vs 1.8 ± 0.2 days; complications, 7.0% vs 0.0%). Operative time (117.6 ± 11.6 minutes) was shorter (p = 0.45) in obese patients undergoing open cholecystectomy. However, time to normal diet and length of postoperative hospitalization were significantly longer (3.1 and 4.6 days, respectively; p < 0.01), and there were more complications (18.2%). Conclusions. Rather than being contraindicated in the morbidly obese, LC appears to be the preferred method of cholecystectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)818-823
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


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