Single-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy was developed with the aim of reducing the invasiveness of traditional laparoscopy, diminishing postoperative pain and morbidity. The aim of this prospective study was to assess the feasibility and the efficacy of this new approach. Between April and December 2009, a total of 21 patients underwent single-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy for symptomatic gallbladder stone disease. Single surgeon, elective patient, no preoperative diagnosis of common bile duct stone and no previous upper abdominal surgery were the selection criteria chosen for the study. Attempt to reproduce the standard technique (routine intraoperative cholangiography) was considered. Twenty patients (95.2%) successfully completed single-port surgery, and the median operative time was 65 min (range 40-122). Conversion to standard laparoscopic cholecystectomy was required for one patient (4.8%) for a difficult haemostasis. Intraoperative cholangiography was performed for 14 patients (66.7%). Seven patients (33.3%) were discharged on the same day of the operation; median hospital stay was 1 day (range 1-4). No postoperative complications were observed; one patient was reoperated on the same day of surgery because of unexplained abdominal pain and leucocytosis, but relaparoscopy demonstrated no fluid collection. On the 1st postoperative day, median VAS was 3. Most patients declared to be satisfied with the result of the operation and the resulting scar. Transumbilical single-port access cholecystectomy is feasible using standard laparoscopic instruments. It may reduce morbidity, postoperative pain and may offer cosmetic advantages compared with standard laparoscopic approach. However, presently the procedure may be performed only by surgeons with wide experience with this operation through standard laparoscopic access.
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