Purpose. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of preoperative sonography in predicting technical difficulties during laparoscopic cholecystectomy in patients with acute cholecystitis. Methods. Sonographic assessment of 14 parameters was performed in 55 patients during a 9-month period: volume of gallbladder (GB), thickness of GB wall, pattern of GB wall thickening, size of largest gallstone, gallstone mobility, adhesion of GB to its bed, fat plane between GB and hepatoduodenal ligament, free fluid in GB fossa, common bile duct (CBD) dilatation, CBD stone(s), color and power Doppler signals in GB wall, and increased color and power Doppler signals in adjacent liver. Each of the 5 operative steps of laparoscopic cholecystectomy was scored as being difficult (1) or not (0). The scores for each step were added to obtain the overall difficulty score (0-5). We evaluated prospectively whether there were significant associations among the preoperative sonographic findings and the overall difficulty score, scores for each of the 5 operative steps, and operation time. Results. The overall difficulty score was significantly associated with a GB volume of 50 cm3 or more, GB wall thickness of 3 mm or more, and presence of color Doppler signals in the GB wall. Increased GB volume also made dissection of adhesions from the GB and dissection of Calot's triangle more difficult. Extraction of the GB from the abdomen was more difficult with a thickened GB wall or adhesion of the GB to its bed. The presence of a CBD stone, dilatation of the CBD (≥ 8 mm), color Doppler signals in the GB wall, and increased power Doppler signals in the adjacent liver were significantly associated with increased operation time. Conclusions. Based on our experience, preoperative determination of GB volume, GB wall thickness, and presence of color Doppler signals in the GB wall in patients with acute cholecystitis helps predict technical difficulties during laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
- Acute cholecystitis
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomy