With the development of laparoscopic techniques, gallbladder cancer (GBC) is no longer a contraindication to laparoscopic surgery (LS). Although LS is recommended for stage T1 GBC, the value of LS for stage T2 GBC is still controversial.
To evaluate the short- and long-term outcomes of LS in comparison to those of open surgery (OS) for stage T2 GBC.
We searched the PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Ovid, Google Scholar, and Web of Science databases for published studies comparing the efficacy of LS and OS in the treatment of stage T2 GBC, with a cutoff date of September 2022. The Stata 15 statistical software was used for analysis. Relative risk (RR) and weighted mean difference (WMD) were calculated to assess binary and continuous outcome indicators, respectively. Begg’s test and Egger’s test were used for detecting publication bias.
A total of five studies were included, with a total of 297 patients, 153 in the LS group and 144 in the OS group. Meta-analysis results showed that the LS group was better than the OS group in terms of operative time [WMD = -41.29, 95% confidence interval (CI): -75.66 to -6.92, P = 0.02], estimated blood loss (WMD = -261.96, 95%CI: -472.60 to -51.31, P = 0.01), and hospital stay (WMD = -5.67, 95%CI: -8.53 to -2.81, P = 0.0001), whereas there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of blood transfusion (RR = 0.60, 95%CI: 0.31-1.15, P = 0.13), complications (RR = 0.72, 95%CI: 0.39-1.33, P = 0.29), number of lymph nodes retrieved (WMD = –1.71, 95%CI: -4.27 to -0.84, P = 0.19), recurrence (RR = 0.41, 95%CI: 0.06-2.84, P = 0.36), 3-year and 5-year overall survival (RR = 0.99, 95%CI: 0.82-1.18, P = 0.89 and RR = 1.02, 95%CI: 0.68-1.53, P = 0.92; respectively), and 3-year and 5-year disease-free survival (RR = 1.01, 95%CI: 0.84-1.21, P = 0.93 and RR = 1.15, 95%CI: 0.90-1.46, P = 0.26; respectively).
The long-term outcomes of LS for T2 GBC are similar to those of OS, but LS is superior to OS in terms of operative time, intraoperative bleeding, and postoperative hospital stay. Nevertheless, these findings should be validated via high-quality randomized controlled trials and longer follow-ups.
Core Tip: This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of laparoscopic surgery in comparison to those of open surgery for stage T2 gallbladder cancer. A total of five studies were included after retrieving various literature databases, with a cutoff date of September 2022. Meta-analysis results showed that the laparoscopic surgery group was better than the open surgery group in terms of operative time, estimated blood loss, and hospital stay, whereas there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of blood transfusion, complications, number of lymph nodes retrieved, recurrence, and 3-year and 5-year overall and disease-free survival rates.