Expectant management of the asymptomatic gallbladder at Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
BACKGROUND: Because of the claim that about one third of patients develop gallstones within 6 months of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), many have recommended preoperative ultrasonography for all patients and/or prophylactic cholecystectomy (CCY), or ursodiol to prevent stone formation. METHODS: Prospective data were collected from 1391 consecutive patients followed up for > or = 6 months after RYGB (2000-2005) to assess our practice of not routinely removing the gallbladder and not administering ursodiol. RESULTS: Of the 1391 patients, 334 (24%) had undergone CCY before RYGB. Of the remaining 1057 asymptomatic patients, 516 had undergone preoperative ultrasonography. Stones were identified in 99 (19%), sludge in 5 (0.97%), and polyps in 6 (1.1%). Of the 984 patients with gallbladders left in situ after RYGB, only 80 (8.1%) became symptomatic and required delayed CCY. The average excess weight loss at the delayed CCY was 65%. The risk of undergoing delayed CCY seemed to be restricted to the first 29 months after RYGB, because none of 165 patients followed up for 30-144 months required CCY. CONCLUSION: Although CCY should be performed whenever symptoms mandate, the value of routine preoperative ultrasonography and CCY was not apparent from the results of our study. Waiting until symptoms develop might simplify the operative procedure because of the significant weight loss that should have occurred after RYGB. Using an expectant approach, most patients undergoing RYGB will not require CCY.
Portenier, DD; Grant, JP; Blackwood, HS; Pryor, A; McMahon, RL; DeMaria, E
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