Laparoscopic cholecystectomy in children: Lessons learned from the first 100 patients

George W. Holcomb, Walter M. Morgan, Wallace W. Neblett, John B. Pietsch, James A. O'Neill, Yu Shyr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Purpose: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a very common operation in adults but is relatively infrequently required in children. A retrospective review of 100 consecutive infants and children undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomies from 1990 to 1998 was performed to see what lessons have been learned from this relatively large population of pediatric patients. Results: The patients ranged in age from 25 to 230 months, with a mean of 105 months. Only 19 patients had hemolytic disease as the etiology for their cholelithiasis. Two patients had biliary dyskinesia. Seventy-eight patients underwent an elective operation. Twenty-two children required urgent hospitalization because of complications from their cholelithiasis: acute cholecystitis (n = 7), jaundice and pain (n = 6), gallstone pancreatitis (n = 5), acute biliary colic (n = 4). All 6 patients who presented with jaundice underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) before their laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Two patients required laparoscopic choledochal exploration. The operating time and postoperative hospitalization were significantly longer (P = .0005) in the complicated group when compared with the elective patients. No significant complications such as the need for reoperation, injury to the choledocuhus or to other viscera, bile leak, or retained choledocholithiasis occurred. Conclusions: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a safe, effective procedure in children for removal of the gallbladder. The exact role of routine cholangiography and ERCP remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1236-1240
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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