Article Abstract

Laparoscopic treatment for suspected gallbladder cancer confined to the wall: a 10-year study from a single institution

Authors: Lingfu Zhang, Chunsheng Hou, Zhi Xu, Lixin Wang, Xiaofeng Ling, Dianrong Xiu


Objective: Although laparoscopic treatment of gallbladder cancer (GBC) has been explored in the last decade, long-term results are still rare. This study evaluates long-term results of intended laparoscopic treatment for suspected GBC confined to the gallbladder wall, based on our experience over 10 years.
Methods: Between August 2006 and December 2015, 164 patients with suspected GBC confined to the wall were enrolled in the protocol for laparoscopic surgery. The process for GBC treatment was analyzed to evaluate the feasibility of computed tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) combined with frozen-section examination in identifying GBC confined to the wall. Of 159 patients who underwent the intended laparoscopic radical treatment, 47 with pathologically proven GBC were investigated to determine the safety and oncologic outcomes of a laparoscopic approach to GBC.
Results: Among the 164 patients, 5 patients avoided further radical surgery because of unresectable disease and 12 were converted to open surgery; in the remaining 147 patients, totally laparoscopic treatment was successfully accomplished. Extended cholecystectomy was performed in 37 patients and simple cholecystectomy in 10. The T stages based on final pathology were Tis (n=6), T1a (n=2), T1b (n=9), T2 (n=26), and T3 (n=4). Recurrence was detected in 11 patients over a median follow-up of 51 months. The disease-specific 5-year survival rate of these 47 patients was 68.8%, and rose to 85% for patients with a normal cancer antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) level.
Conclusions: The favorable long-term outcomes demonstrate the feasibility of combined CT/MRI and frozen-section examination in the selection of patients with GBC confined to the gallbladder wall, confirm the oncologic safety of laparoscopic treatment in selected GBC patients, and favor measurement of preoperative CA19-9 in the selection of GBCs suitable for laparoscopic treatment.

Keywords: CA19-9; frozen-section diagnosis; gallbladder cancer; laparoscopic radical cholecystectomy; laparoscopic surgery; radical cholecystectomy