Background: The advent of single incision laparoscopic surgery has brought renewed attention to cholecystectomy due to the promise of improved cosmesis and less parietal trauma. Small series have demonstrated the feasibility of single incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). Our series adds to the literature by demonstrating a variety of ancillary techniques that may be employed to perform single incision LC safely, and compares our early experience with that of our standard LC. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of patients who underwent single incision LC between February 2008 and April 2009. These patients were compared with an equal number of randomly selected patients undergoing LC during the same period. We identified 25 attempted single incision LC, which were included in our analysis. Results: Single incision LC was successfully performed in 21 patients, with only 4 patients requiring conversion to LC. No patients in either group had acute cholecystitis. The critical view of safety was documented in 20 of 21 patients undergoing a successful single incision LC compared with all patients undergoing LC. Operative time was significantly longer in the single incision group. Complications were minor and comparable between the 2 groups. In 9 patients (43%), a suture passer helped to retract the gallbladder. In 8 patients (38%), 1 or 2 Prolene sutures placed by means of a Keith needle helped to retract the gallbladder over the liver and/or helped to retract the infundibulum. In 2 patients, ≥1 supplemental 5-mm port was utilized. In 5 patients (24%), no supplementary retraction was necessary. Conclusion: Single incision LC is technically more challenging than LC, but can be performed safely by experienced laparoscopic surgeons with results comparable with LC.
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