Aim: Since 1987, laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) has been widely used as the favored treatment for gallbladder lesions. Cholecystoenteric fistula (CF) is an uncommon complication of the gallbladder disease, which has been one of the reasons for the conversion from LC to open cholecystectomy. Here, we have reported four cases of CF managed successfully by laparoscopic approach without conversion to open cholecystectomy. Methods: During the 4-year period from 2000 to 2004, the medical records of the four patients with CF treated successfully with laparoscopic management at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital-Taipei were retrospectively reviewed. Results: The study comprised two male and two female patients with ages ranging from 36 to 74 years (median: 53.5 years). All the four patients had right upper quadrant pain. Two of the four patients were detected with pneumobilia by abdominal ultrasonography. One patient was diagnosed with cholecystocolic fistula preoperatively correctly by endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and the other one was diagnosed as cholecystoduodenal fistula by magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography. Correct preoperative diagnosis of CF was made in two of the four patients with 50% preoperative diagnostic rate. All the four patients underwent LC and closure of the fistula was carried out by using Endo-GIA successfully with uneventful postoperative courses. The hospital stay of the four patients ranged from 7 to 10 d (median, 8 d). Conclusion: CF is a known complication of chronic gallbladder disease that is traditionally considered as a contraindication to LC. Correct preoperative diagnosis of CF demands high index of suspicion and determines the success of laparoscopic management for the subset of patients. The difficult laparoscopic repair is safe and effective in the experienced hands of laparoscopic surgeons.
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