Background Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is the treatment of choice for benign gallbladder disease. Gallbladder cancers have been found following LC. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the survival outcome and prognosis of incidental gallbladder cancer diagnosed after LC. Methods From January 2002 to December 2007, 3,145 patients underwent LC at the Department of Surgery, Korea University Medical Center. Of these, 33 patients (1.05%) were diagnosed with gallbladder cancer after LC. Clinicopathological characteristics were retrospectively reviewed in this study. Results Of the 33 patients studied, 9 were men and 24 were women. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy alone was performed in 26 patients, and additional radical surgery was performed in 7 others. Regarding tumor staging, there were 2 Tis, 6 T1a, 4 T1b, 17 T2, and 4 T3 tumors. Male patients had a significantly higher incidence of moderately and poorly differentiated tumors (P < 0.001), T2 and T3 tumors (P = 0.02), additional second operations (P = 0.046), and recurrence (P = 0.016). The cumulative 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates were 87.2, 73.1, and 47.0%, respectively. Univariate analysis revealed that significant prognostic factors for poorer survival were male gender (P = 0.026), age older than 65 years (P = 0.013), the presence of inflammation (P = 0.009), moderately or poorly differentiated tumor (P < 0.001), nonpolypoid gross type (P = 0.003), and pT stage (P < 0.001). Tumor differentiation was a significantly independent predictor of poor prognosis. Conclusions Male patients exhibited aggressive tumor characteristics. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is an adequate treatment for pT1 tumors. For pT2 and pT3 patients, additional radical surgery might be needed to achieve a tumorfree surgical margin, along with lymph node dissection.
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