Background: Single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is still technically demanding and usually requires specially designed instruments. This article describes our own technique, a single-fulcrum LC using only standard ports and instruments.
Methods: Between March 2009 and December 2010, 130 consecutive patients, all scheduled to undergo elective LC, underwent this single-fulcrum LC for benign gallbladder disease. Perioperative surgical outcomes were retrospectively evaluated.
Results: One hundred and ten patients (84.6%) underwent successful single-fulcrum LC, and 20 patients (15.4%) were converted to conventional surgery (n= 18) or required additional trocars (n= 2) during the procedure because of umbilical hernia (n= 3), severe inflammation or adhesion (n= 9), impacted cystic duct stone (n= 3), anatomical anomaly (n= 3) and iatrogenic injury (n= 2). Two intraoperative complications (iatrogenic injury) were securely managed using additional trocars and there was no post-operative morbidity or mortality. This single-fulcrum LC could be performed with comparable cost to conventional LC, and the sequential operative time showed reasonable learning curve.
Conclusion: Single-fulcrum LC is feasible, safe and quite reproducible. The surgical wound can be dramatically reduced at a similar cost to conventional LC. It may be an alternative procedure for most uncomplicated benign gallbladder disease.