Preoperative ultrasound measurements predict the feasibility of gallbladder extraction during transgastric natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery cholecystectomy

Byron F. Santos, Edward D. Auyang, Eric S. Hungness, Kush R. Desai, Edward S. Chan, Darren B. Van Beek, Edward C. Wang, Nathaniel J. Soper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Extraction of a gallbladder through an endoscopic overtube during natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES®) transgastric cholecystectomy avoids potential injury to the esophagus. This study examined the rate of successful gallbladder specimen extraction through an overtube and hypothesized that preoperative ultrasound findings could predict successful specimen passage. Methods: Gallbladder specimens from patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy were measured, and an attempt was made to pull the specimens through a commercially available overtube with an inner diameter of 16.7-mm. A radiologist blinded to the outcomes reviewed the available preoperative ultrasound measurements from these patients. Ultrasound dimensions including gallbladder length, width, and depth; wall thickness; common bile duct diameter; and size of the largest gallstone (LGS) were recorded. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to determine whether ultrasound findings and patient characteristics (age, body mass index [BMI], and sex) could predict the ability of a specimen to pass through the overtube. Results: Of 57 patients, 44 (77%) who had preoperative ultrasounds available for electronic review were included in the final analysis. Gallstones were present in 35 (79%) of these 44 patients. Intraoperative gallbladder perforation occurred in 18 (41%) of the 44 patients, and 16 (36%) of the 44 gallbladders could be extracted through the overtube. Measurement of LGS was possible for 23 patients, and indeterminate gallstone size (IGS) was determined for 12 patients. The rate for passage of perforated versus intact gallbladders was similar (40% vs. 23%; p = 0.054). The LGS (odds ratio [OR], 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.33; p = 0.021) and IGS (OR, 22.97; 95% CI, 1.99-265.63; p = 0.025) predicted failed passage on multivariate logistic regression analysis. The passage rate was 80% for LGS smaller than 10 mm or no stones present, 18% for LGS 10 mm or larger, and 8% for IGS (p < 0.001). Conclusion: A majority of cholecystectomy specimens cannot pass through an endoscopic overtube. Preoperative ultrasound findings can predict successful specimen extraction. An IGS or a gallstone 10 mm or larger should be considered a relative contraindication to transgastric NOTES cholecystectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1168-1175
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Cholecystectomy
  • Natural orifice
  • Specimen extraction
  • Transgastric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Preoperative ultrasound measurements predict the feasibility of gallbladder extraction during transgastric natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery cholecystectomy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this