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Lymph Node Excision and Cyst Excision


Expert opinion recommends that surgeons perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) in a standardized manner by dissecting the hepatobiliary triangle lateral to the cystic artery lymph node (LN) to minimize the rate of a major bile duct injury.


To determine whether surgeons performed a laparoscopic cholecystectomy in a standardized manner, the study assessed the variability in the frequency of an LN excision. All LCs that were performed at a single hospital were identified from a prospective dataset. The presence of an LN was retrospectively determined from the histology report.


Twenty-seven surgeons were recorded to have performed 2332 laparoscopic cholecystectomies. Out of the total number of patients, 76.8% were female. The median patient age was 42.4 years. About 60.8% of the LCs were elective, while 39.2% of them were acute. Nineteen pathologists reported that in 99% of the specimens – the LN status of 1831 (78.5%) gallbladders was reported and analyzed. Overall, the LN yield per surgeon varied from 0% to 50% (mean 18.7%).


The high inter-surgeon variability in the rate of LN excision during laparoscopic cholecystectomy shows that surgeons dissect the hepatobiliary triangle differently. The LN yield may also represent a surrogate marker of surgical technique (which is easy to measure).