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Laparoscopic cancer surgery

Lessons from gallbladder cancer


Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) may inhibit the discovery of unsuspected gallbladder cancer, and the effect of LC on the prognosis of gallbladder cancer is unknown. We present two cases of unsuspected gallbladder cancer removed laparoscopically and report the discovery of peritoneal tumor implantation at the umbilical port site 21 days after LC.

Although gallbladder carcinoma flow cytometry has been reported to be of prognostic value by Japanese investigators, this technique did not distinguish herein between an invasive adenocarcinoma and carcinoma in situ. A cellular doubling time of 56 h was calculated from one tumor.

When unsuspected invasive gallbladder cancer is found after LC, laparoscopic port sites should be inspected at reoperation and, at a minimum, the port site through which the gallbladder was removed should be widely excised. This demonstration of cancer recurrence in laparoscopic port sites may limit the application of laparoscopy to elective cancer resection.

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Correspondence to T. P. Wade.

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The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and should not be construed to reflect the official positions of either the U.S. Air Force medical department or Saint Louis University

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Wade, T.P., Comitalo, J.B., Andrus, C.H. et al. Laparoscopic cancer surgery. Surg Endosc 8, 698–701 (1994).

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Key words

  • Laparoscopy
  • Gallbladder
  • Cancer
  • Implantation
  • Doubling time