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  • Symptomatic cholelithiasis, acute calculus and acalculus cholecystitis, gallstone pancreatitis, biliary dyskinesia, and gallbladder masses and polyps that are concerning for malignancies.

  • Cholecystectomy for mild gallstone pancreatitis should be performed during the initial admission for pancreatitis and deferred for several weeks in patients with severe pancreatitis.

  • Contraindications include small bowel obstruction secondary to gallstone ileus, coagulopathy, and medical comorbidities prohibiting surgery.

  • Factors associated with increased surgical risk include cirrhosis with portal hypertension, previous intra-abdominal surgery with adhesions, and acute gangrenous cholecystitis.



  • Diagnosis of biliary disease is typically documented with ultrasound exam of right upper quadrant. The remainder of the gastrointestinal tract may require additional studies.

  • Chest x-ray and electrocardiogram may be performed as indicated.

  • Routine laboratory blood tests are obtained and should include a liver function panel. Coagulation studies should be ordered if there is a concern for hepatic insufficiency or other causes of coagulopathy.

  • Risks of lap chole include bleeding, infection, trocar injuries to viscera or blood vessels, and bile duct injury. These should be discussed with the patient as well as the possibility of conversion to an open procedure.

  • Preoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with sphincterotomy and stone extraction, if necessary, is indicated in patients with jaundice and should be considered in patients with dilated bile ducts on imaging and/or elevated liver function tests.



  • General anesthesia with endotracheal intubation is recommended.

  • Preoperative prophylactic antibiotics for anticipated bile pathogens are administered such that adequate tissue levels exist, although there is evidence that there may be limited benefit for low-risk patients.



  • The surgeon must have a clear line of sight to both the video monitor and the high flow CO2 insufflator such that he or she can monitor both the intra-abdominal pressure and gas flow rates (Figure 1).

  • In general, all members of the team are looking across the operating table at video monitors. The positions of the video monitors may require adjustment once all members step to their final positions at operation.

  • The patient is placed supine with the arms either secured at the sides or out at right angles so as to allow maximum access to monitoring devices by the anesthesiologist at the head of the table.

  • An orogastric tube is passed after the patient is asleep.

  • Sequential pneumatic compression stockings should be placed for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis.

  • The dispersive electrode (electrocautery grounding pad) is placed near the hip, avoiding any region where internal metal orthopedic parts or electronic devices may have been implanted.

  • The possible need for fluoroscopic examination of the abdomen in the event that an intraoperative cholangiogram is performed should be considered when positioning the bed and patient.

  • The legs, arms, and upper chest are covered with blankets to minimize heat loss.

  • The skin of the entire abdomen and lower anterior chest is prepared in the routine manner.




  • The abdomen ...

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