Comparison of Fenestrating and Reconstituting Subtotal Cholecystectomy Techniques in Difficult Cholecystectomy.

Yildirim A. C., Zeren S., Ekici M. F., Yaylak F., Algin M. C., Arik O.

Cureus, vol.14, no.2, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.7759/cureus.22441
  • Journal Name: Cureus
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: difficult laparoscopic cholecystectomy, complication, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, biliary injury, subtotal cholecystectomy, LONG-TERM OUTCOMES, LAPAROSCOPIC CHOLECYSTECTOMY
  • Kütahya Health Sciences University Affiliated: Yes



Cholecystectomy is one of the most frequently performed surgeries. Although laparoscopy is considered the gold standard approach, it cannot prevent biliary injuries. Subtotal cholecystectomy has been performed mainly to prevent biliary injuries during difficult cholecystectomies. This study aimed to analyse our subtotal cholecystectomy results for difficult cholecystectomy cases and to evaluate the fenestrating and reconstituting techniques.


Retrospective data were collected and analysed statistically for cases that underwent subtotal cholecystectomy in a single referral centre between 2015 and 2020. Comparisons were made of the patients’ age, gender, preoperative American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) score, comorbidities, surgical timing, surgical procedure choice, postoperative complications, and mortality.


The number of patients who underwent subtotal cholecystectomy was 46; 30.4% underwent emergent surgery and 69.6% underwent elective surgery. Twelve patients had subtotal fenestrating cholecystectomy and 34 had subtotal reconstituting cholecystectomy. Wound issues were noted in 17.4% of the patients, while 10.9% had temporary biliary fistulas that resolved spontaneously. Reoperation was performed in one patient due to high-output biliary drainage. Patients with postoperative complications had significantly higher co-morbid conditions (p=0.000), but surgery timing (p=0.192) and type of subtotal cholecystectomy (p=0.409) had no statistically significant effect on complications. Mortality showed a statistically significant correlation with patient comorbidities, surgery timing, and the type of procedure (p<0.05). Postoperative complications showed a statistically significant correlation with mortality (p<0.05).


Subtotal cholecystectomy prevents major biliary complications after cholecystectomy. Yet, the frequency of postoperative complications after subtotal cholecystectomy is incontrovertible. Intraoperative characteristics and the surgeon’s expertise decide the optimal choice of the subtotal cholecystectomy technique.