Single-incision laparoscopic surgery is now increasingly used as an approach for cholecystectomy, based on anecdotal reports of decreased pain, reduced need for hospitalization, and a better cosmetic result. This is a report of a single surgeon's (JKE) initial experience with single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy (SILC).
We collected concurrent data on 238 consecutive patients undergoing SILC by 1 surgeon in a community hospital over 12 months.
From June 2008 to June 2009, 238 consecutive patients underwent an attempted SILC for biliary colic or dyskinesia (75%) or acute cholecystitis (25%) by a single surgeon. Conversion to a standard laparoscopic cholecystectomy was necessary in 6 patients (2.5%) for inflammation or bleeding (n = 4) or short cystic duct (n = 2). Conversion to an open cholecystectomy was necessary in 1 patient (0.42%) for a short cystic duct. No injuries to the common bile duct occurred, the average operative time was 40 minutes, and 95% of patients (n = 226) were discharged home on the day of operation. Postoperative port site hematomas occurred in 3 patients (1.3%), and dehiscence of the umbilical skin incision in 2 (0.8%). No perioperative deaths occurred.
This initial experience with SILC documents that the results of the procedure are equivalent to those with the standard procedure using 4 widely-spaced ports when performed by an experienced laparoscopic surgeon. Randomized trials will be necessary to document the suggested benefits of decreased pain and shorter hospitalization.