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Keywords:

  • Antibiotic prophylaxis;
  • bacterial infection;
  • cholelithiasis;
  • bile & stone leakage;
  • postoperative complications;
  • risk factors;
  • sepsis;
  • tissue culture;
  • wound infection

Abstract

Objective–

To assess the incidence of infected bile and gallbladder wall infection at the time of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and find out if they influenced the rate of postoperative infective complications.

Design–

Prospective study.

Setting–

District hospital, Kuwait.

Subjects–

All 279 patients who had their gallbladders removed laparoscopically for gallbladder disease between September 1995 and August 1998.

Interventions–

Samples of bile and gallbladder wall were taken from all patients and cultured separately for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Patients with complicated gallbladder disease (n = 80) were given preoperative therapeutic antibiotics for five days (cephalosporin plus metronidazole), and other high-risk patients (n = 138) were given prophylactic ceftriaxone either I g × 3 starting at induction of anaesthesia (n = 42), or a single dose at induction (n = 96).

Main outcome measures–

Incidence of infected cultures, and infective morbidity.

Results–

26 specimens of bile (9%) and 56 specimens of gallbladder wall (20%) were infected. Two patients in whom neithe specimen had shown any growth developed minor infections at the umbilical port. No patient in whom either specimen was infected developed an infective complication.

Conclusions–

The overall rate of infective complications was negligible, and did not correlate with the presence of bacteria in the bile or gallbladder wall. This is probably a reflection of our aggressive antibiotic regimen in the management of high-risk patients. Copyright © 2001 Taylor and Francis Ltd.