Laparoscopic vs. small incision cholecystectomy: Implications for pulmonary function and pain. A randomized clinical trial.
SourceActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, 52, 3, (2008), pp. 363-73
Article / Letter to editor
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Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
SubjectNCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions; UMCN 4.3: Tissue engineering and reconstructive surgery; UMCN C.4: Quality of Care
BACKGROUND: Upper abdominal surgery, including laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC), is associated with post-operative pulmonary dysfunction. LC has, by consensus, become the treatment of choice for symptomatic cholecystolithiasis. The small-incision cholecystectomy (SIC), a procedure which does not require a pneumoperitoneum threatens to be lost to clinical practice even though there is evidence of equality. We hypothesized that the SIC technique should be equal and might even be superior to the LC when considering post-operative pulmonary function due to the short incision length. METHODS: A single-centre, randomized clinical trial was performed including patients scheduled for elective cholecystectomy. Pulmonary flow-volume curves were measured pre-operatively, post-operatively, and at follow up. Blood gas analyses were measured pre-operative, in the recovery phase and on post-operative day 1. Anaesthesia, analgesics, and peri-operative care were standardized by protocol. Post-operatively, patients and caregivers were blinded to the procedure. RESULTS: A total of 257 patients were analysed. There was one pulmonary complication (pneumonia) in the LC group. In both groups, similar reductions of approximately 20% in pulmonary function parameters occurred, with complete recovery to pre-operative values. Patients in the SIC group consumed more analgesia when compared with the LC group without impact on blood gas analysis. Patients converted to a conventional open technique showed significant differences in six of the eight parameters in pulmonary function tests. CONCLUSION: When evaluated with strict methodology and standardization of care, no clinically relevant differences were found between SIC and LC regarding pulmonary function. Our results suggest that the popularity of the laparoscopic technique cannot be attributed to pulmonary preservation.
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