Postgrad Med J 80:77-79 doi:10.1136/pmj.2003.006023
  • Review

Spilled gall stones during laparoscopic cholecystectomy: a review of the literature

  1. T Sathesh-Kumar1,
  2. A P Saklani2,
  3. R Vinayagam3,
  4. R L Blackett4
  1. 1Department of Surgery, University Hospital of North Durham, Durham, UK
  2. 2Department of Surgery, North Staffordshire Hospital NHS Trust, Stoke on Trent, UK
  3. 3Department of Surgery, Grantham and District Hospital NHS Trust, Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK
  4. 4Department of Surgery, Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Mr T Sathesh-Kumar
 Department of Surgery, University Hospital of North Durham, Durham DH1 5TW, UK;
  • Received 29 January 2003
  • Accepted 18 August 2003


Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is associated with spillage of gall stones in 5%–40% of procedures, but complications occur very rarely. There are, however, isolated case reports describing a range of complications occurring both at a distance from and near to the subhepatic area. This review looks into the various modes of presentation, ways to minimise spillage, treating the complications, and the legal implications.