Published online Aug 7, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i29.4786
Revised: June 15, 2013
Accepted: June 19, 2013
Published online: August 7, 2013
AIM: To investigate the learning curve of transumbilical suture-suspension single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy (SILC).
METHODS: The clinical data of 180 consecutive transumbilical suture-suspension SILCs performed by a team in our department during the period from August 2009 to March 2011 were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were divided into nine groups according to operation dates, and each group included 20 patients operated on consecutively in each time period. The surgical outcome was assessed by comparing operation time, blood loss during operation, and complications between groups in order to evaluate the improvement in technique.
RESULTS: A total of 180 SILCs were successfully performed by five doctors. The average operation time was 53.58 ± 30.08 min (range: 20.00-160.00 min) and average blood loss was 12.70 ± 11.60 mL (range: 0.00-100.00 mL). None of the patients were converted to laparotomy or multi-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy. There were no major complications such as hemorrhage or biliary system injury during surgery. Eight postoperative complications occurred mainly in the first three groups (n = 6), and included ecchymosis around the umbilical incision (n = 7) which resolved without special treatment, and one case of delayed bile leakage in group 8, which was treated by ultrasound-guided puncture and drainage. There were no differences in intraoperative blood loss, postoperative complications and length of postoperative hospital stay among the groups. Bonferroni’s test showed that the operation time in group 1 was significantly longer than that in the other groups (F = 7.257, P = 0.000). The majority of patients in each group were discharged within 2 d, with an average postoperative hospital stay of 1.9 ± 1.2 d.
CONCLUSION: Following scientific principles and standard procedures, a team experienced in multi-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy can master the technique of SILC after 20 cases.
Core tip: As a new technology, single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy (SILC) is more difficult to perform than multi-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy with higher technical demands. Thus, SILC may have a specific learning curve. The present study retrospectively analyzed the surgical outcomes of transumbilical suture-suspension SILC performed by the same team in our department to investigate the learning curve of this technology, thereby guiding the surgeons to pass the initial learning period smoothly, safely, and quickly.