The objective of this study was to demonstrate the safety and feasibility of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in empyematous or gangrenous cholecystitis. During the period from August 1998 to April 2000, we operated laparoscopically on 64 patients, without any selection, in which we established, preoperatively or intraoperatively, the diagnosis of empyematous or gangrenous cholecystitis using clinical criteria (fever, leukocytosis, persistent pain, abdominal tenderness or guarding), echographic findings and intraoperative or pathological aspects of the gallbladder. The operations were performed by experienced surgeons skillful in advanced laparoscopic procedure. We concluded successfully 59 operations. The five conversions were due to dense adhesions because of previous gastric surgery in 3 cases, to the lack of recognizing the anatomy of the biliary tree in one case and to a choledoco-duodenal fistula in the last case. No mortality and a very low morbidity with a short hospital stay, were noted in our study. We consider patients with very acute cholecystitis to be candidates for a laparoscopic approach
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