Gallbladder Cancer: Greater and Safer Outcomes Through Laparoscopic Surgery

Dr. Ho-Seong Han, of Seoul National University Bundang Hospital in Seongnam, Korea and colleagues reported that laparoscopy is safe and it has good long-term outcomes in patients who have gallbladder cancer. The research team explained that laparoscopic surgery has been a contraindication in gallbladder cancer for quite some time. However, they discovered that the results after laparoscopic surgery were great. Their study revealed that all patients with stage T2 had excellent survival and those with T1 survived. They added that laparoscopy is used in almost every surgical field, and it causes less stress, less pain, and faster recovery in patients.

The research team recruited 83 patients with early gallbladder cancer with no evidence of metastasis to the liver. 45 patients with confirmed diagnosis of gallbladder cancer were analyzed to determine the oncological outcomes and safety of laparoscopic surgery to gallbladder cancer. Simple cholecystectomy was done on 13 patients and extended cholecystectomy was done on 32 patients. 26 patients with post-surgery follow-up more than 5 years were studied to determine the actual survival in 5 years. The 5-year survival rate of the 45 gallbladder cancer patients was 94.2% and the 26 patients whose post-surgery follow-up more than 5 years was 92.3%.

Dr. Daniel A. Anaya, of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, uninvolved in this study commented that the research team was able to show that laparoscopy in selected gallbladder cancer patients under the right setting and environment can produce superb long-term survival and overall survival. He believed that as long as laparoscopy is performed in highly specialized centers with proper expertise, the use of laparoscopy brings more benefit than harm. Despite reporting such an excellent outcome, this study was only conducted on a small number of patients. Dr. Daniel A. Anaya added that future studies need to include a larger number of patients to further confirm the findings in this study. The research team acknowledged the limitations of this study and suggested that a larger trial is needed to confirm their findings.

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