Perioperative management of cholelithiasis in patients presenting for laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: have we reached a consensus?

Journal: The American Surgeon

Obesity and rapid weight loss after bariatric surgery is associated with, the development of cholelithiasis and related complications. Several algorithms have been suggested in the management of the asymptomatic gallstones in patients presenting for weight loss surgery (WLS). Charts of patients presenting for laparoscopic Roux-en-Y (LRYGB) were retrospectively reviewed. Concomitant or delayed cholecystectomies were performed for symptomatic disease at the time of or after LRYGB, respectively. A total of 1376 patients underwent LRYGB and 21.0 per cent had a history of a cholecystectomy. An additional 2.7 per cent underwent cholecystectomy. The remaining 1050 "at-risk" patients were followed for a mean of 32.3 months and 4.9 per cent underwent delayed cholecystectomy for symptomatic disease. Of these patients, 88.5 per cent presented within 2 years of LRYGB. No significant morbidities were experienced by the "at-risk" cohort. Currently, there is no consensus in the treatment of asymptomatic cholelithiasis in patients presenting for WLS. A conservative regimen of reserving cholecystectomy for symptomatic disease is safe in patients undergoing LRYGB. Subsequent cholecystectomy was required in 4.9% with the majority of these patients presenting within 2 years of LRYGB. Further investigations in the form of randomized, prospective studies are necessary to clearly define the indications for cholecystectomy at the time of WLS.

Jitesh Patel, Nilesh Patel, Greta Piper, Deane Smith, Gautum Malhotra, Joseph Colella