Predicting conversion of laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis.

A. J. Shapiro, C. Costello, M. Harkabus, J. H. North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be safely performed in patients with acute cholecystitis. However, the rate of conversion to open cholecystectomy remains higher when compared with patients with chronic cholecystitis. Preoperative clinical or laboratory parameters that could predict the need for conversion may assist the surgeon in preoperative or intraoperative decision making. This could have cost-saving implications. METHODS: A retrospective review of 46 patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis was performed. Records were assessed for preoperative clinical, laboratory and radiographic parameters on admission. Temperature and laboratory parameters were also recorded prior to surgery after an initial period of hospitalization that included intravenous antibiotics. The effect of admission and preoperative parameters as well as the trend in these parameters prior to surgery upon the rate of conversion to open cholecystectomy was assessed. RESULTS: Ten patients (22%) required conversion to open cholecystectomy. Conversion was required more often in males (43%) when compared with females (4%) (p=0.003). Conversion rate was 30% in patients with increased wall thickness by ultrasound compared with 12% for patients without wall thickening (p=ns). No admission or preoperative laboratory values predicted conversion. The trend in the patient's temperature (p=0.0003) and serum LDH value (p=0.043) predicted the need for conversion to open surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative prediction of the need for open cholecystectomy remains elusive. Male patients and patients with rising temperature and LDH levels while on intravenous antibiotics require conversion at increased frequency. However, the benefits of laparoscopic cholecystectomy warrant an attempt at laparoscopic removal in most patients with acute cholecystitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-130
Number of pages4
JournalJSLS : Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons / Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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