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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Operative stress response is reduced after laparoscopic compared to open cholecystectomy: the relationship with postoperative pain and ileus.

Our objective was to determine the least invasive surgical procedure; to do this we compared postoperative pain, duration of ileus, and level of neurohormonal stress response after laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) and open cholecystectomy (OC). Postoperative recovery of patients was faster after LC than OC but comparison of the neurohormonal stress response after laparoscopic and open surgical procedures revealed conflicting results. Forty-one consecutive patients with noncomplicated gallstones were randomized for LC (N = 25) and OC (N = 16). The stress level was evaluated in patients before surgery by the Hamilton anxiety scale. Postoperative pain was assessed by a visual analogic scale (VAS) pain score and by the amount of analgesic drugs (propacetamol) administered, while the duration of ileus was determined by the delay between surgery and the time to first passage of flatus as well by the colonic transit time (CTT) measured by radiopaque markers. Plasma concentrations of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), beta-endorphin (BE), neurotensin ( NT), and aldosterone (Ald) were measured before and during surgery as well as 2 and 5 hr after the surgery (D0) and on the day following surgery (D1). Urinary cortisol (uCOR) and urinary catecholamine metabolites were assessed before surgery, during D0, and on D1. Patient characteristics, the duration of surgery, and the doses of anesthetic drugs were not different in LC and OC. In LC patients the VAS pain score and the doses of postoperative antalgics were lower (P < 0.05), the time to first passage of flatus was shorter (P < 0.001), and the CTT tended to be shorter (54 +/- 12 hr vs 81 +/- 17) compared to OC patients. Patients who required the highest doses of postoperative antalgics had the longest delay to first passage of flatus (P < 0.01). During surgery, all neurohormonal parameters increased compared to the preoperative period (P < 0.05), and only plasma NT concentrations were lower during LC than OC (P < 0.05). During the postoperative period, ACTH, BE, Aid, catecholamines, and uCOR concentrations were lower in LC than in OC (P < 0.05). Concentrations of hormonal parameters were higher when the duration of surgery increased (P < 0.05). A greater need for propacetamol to relieve pain was associated with a greater increase in BE, ACTH, and urinary catecholamine levels (P < 0.05-P < 0.005). When the time to first passage of flatus was delayed, levels of BE, ACTH, and catecholamines and NT concentrations were increased (P < 0.05-P < 0.005). In conclusion, LC is less invasive because this surgical procedure induces a shorter neurohormonal stress response than OC, even if the peroperative response is not different. Postoperative pain levels and the duration of ileus are associated with BE, ACTH, and catecholamine levels and NT concentrations, suggesting the importance of hormones in postoperative functional recovery.[1]


  1. Operative stress response is reduced after laparoscopic compared to open cholecystectomy: the relationship with postoperative pain and ileus. Le Blanc-Louvry, I., Coquerel, A., Koning, E., Maillot, C., Ducrotté, P. Dig. Dis. Sci. (2000) [Pubmed]
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