• Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has rapidly been adopted by surgeons, but concerns remain about its safety, the management of common bile duct stones, and the means of appropriate training. Of 647 patients referred for cholecystectomy, preoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiography was performed in 49 (7.6%), with 27 patients (4%) undergoing sphincterotomy and stone extraction. Traditional cholecystectomy was performed in 29 patients (4.5%). Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was attempted in 618 patients and completed successfully in 600 (97.1%). Surgical trainees functioned as the primary surgeon in 70% of cases. Technical complications occurred in three patients (0.5%), including one patient with a common bile duct laceration (0.2%). Major complications occurred in 10 patients (1.6%), with no perioperative mortality. Mean postoperative hospital stay was 1 day, with return to work or full activity a mean of 8 days after surgery. Two cases of retained common bile duct stones (0.3%) were identified. We now regard laparoscopic cholecystectomy as the "gold standard" therapy for management of symptomatic cholelithiasis.
(Arch Surg. 1992;127:917-923)