Open Cholecystectomy for Gallbladder Disease
1; 2; 2;
1Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
2World Surgical Foundation
Gallbladder diseases are a subset of a spectrum of pathologies of the biliary system and are a particularly common etiology of abdominal pain encountered in modern medicine. These pathologies most often share a similar underlying mechanism of disease: obstruction of a portion of the biliary tree by cholelithiasis, or gallstones.
Gallstones, for the most part, form initially in the gallbladder with the exception of primary common bile duct (CBD) stones that form primarily in the CBD. Risk factors include a wide variety of conditions both pathologic and physiologic, including hyperlipidemia, hemolysis, and pregnancy. The resulting obstruction creates a state of biliary stasis, eventually leading to inflammation, pain, and an increased risk of infection. The anatomical location of the obstruction contributes greatly to both the clinical presentation and the ultimate treatment of the disease.
A hallmark of the treatment of gallbladder disease, ranging from simple biliary colic to life-threatening emphysematous cholecystitis, is the cholecystectomy. In modernized countries, this procedure is almost invariably performed laparoscopically. However, in certain clinical scenarios, such as when a patient cannot tolerate the pneumoperitoneum associated with laparoscopic surgery or when the procedure takes place in a developing country with limited access to laparoscopic capabilities, an open approach is preferred.