Transdiaphragmatic abscess: Late thoracic complication of laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Alfonso Preciado, Brent D. Matthews, Terry K. Scarborough, Juan L. Marti, Patrick R. Reardon, Gerald S. Weinstein, Michael Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Spillage of gallstones into the peritoneal cavity is a frequent problem during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (as much as 30%) and is frequently dismissed as a benign occurrence. However, several complications associated with spillage of gallstones have been reported recently. Most of these complications presented late after the original procedure, many with clinical pictures not related to biliary etiology, confounding and delaying adequate management. For patients presenting with intraabdominal or thoracic abscesses of unknown etiology, if there is a history of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, regardless of the time interval, certain evaluations should be considered. A sonogram and a CT scan are advisable to detect retained extraluminal gallstones, as most patients will require, not only drainage of fluid collections, but also removal of the stones. A case is described of a patient who presented with a right empyema and transdiaphragmatic abscess 18 months after a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Treatment included decortication, enbloc resection of the abscess, repair of the diaphragm, and drainage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-521
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques - Part A
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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