Preliminary Experience with Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy in a Nigerian Teaching Hospital
Background: Presently many centers have facilities for laparoscopic surgery in Nigeria, but the practice is just evolving in most of these centers. This article presents the preliminary experience of the endoscopic surgery unit (general surgery) at the University College Hospital Ibadan Nigeria. The University College Hospital is the premier Nigerian teaching hospital and is located in the south-western part of the country.
Methods: All the patients who had laparoscopic cholecystectomy at the University College Hospital between June 2009 and January 2011 were included in this study. The patients’ demographic data, diagnosis, results of investigations and intraoperative findings were obtained from the records. Additional information extracted from the records was the duration of surgery, complications, outcome and discharge periods.
Results: There were thirteen patients over the twenty month period consisting of twelve females and one male. The age range was twenty six to sixty seven years with a mean of 44.6 years. The duration of surgery ranged from 90 to 189 minutes with a mean of 124 minutes. There were two complications. These were adhesive bowel obstruction and common bile duct injury. The duration of admission ranged from four to thirty two days with a mean of 7.53SD+/– 8.5 days. There was one conversion to open surgery due to intra-operative gallbladder perforation with consequent dispersal of multiple gall stones within the peritoneal cavity. The common bile duct injury was diagnosed four days following surgery for which a choledochojejunostomy was done after initial conservative treatment. There was no mortality.
Conclusion: Laparoscopic surgery is feasible in Nigeria and is likely to show increasing popularity among patients and surgeons. A careful patient selection protocol is necessary for an acceptable success rate with minimal complications. Our protocol of patient selection eliminated the need for intraoperative common bile duct exploration which requires expensive instruments. However, to sustain laparoscopic surgery it is pertinent to ensure an activity based costing system which will not make it arbitrarily too expensive for the general population.
Keywords: Laparoscopy, Experience.