Do gallstones found before sleeve gastrectomy behave the same as those formed after surgery due to weight loss?

Alexandria Conley, St. John Hospital and Medical Center
Moayad Tarboush, St. John Hospital and Medical Center
Wuttiporn Manatsathit, St. John Hospital and Medical Center
Ahmed Meguid, St. John Hospital and Medical Center
Suzanna Szpunar, St. John Hospital and Medical Center
Abdelkader Hawasli, St. John Hospital and Medical Center


© 2016 Elsevier Inc. Background Gallstone formation is prevalent in the bariatric population and after weight loss. We believe that gallstones found preoperatively behave differently and may not cause significant complications as those developing after weight loss. Thus, prophylactic cholecystectomy before or during sleeve gastrectomy (SG) may not be necessary. Methods Patients undergoing SG from January 2011 to May 2012 were evaluated for the presence of gallstones and development of symptoms or need for cholecystectomy postoperatively. Results Group 1 (n = 18) had gallstones preoperatively. Group 2 (n = 29) developed gallstones after weight loss. Both groups’ demographics were similar. Symptomatic gallstones occurred in 1 patient (5.6%) in group 1 and in 9 patients (31.0%) in group 2 (P =.19). Percent excess body mass index loss (%EBL) was 58 ± 24% vs 70 ± 22% (P =.11) with a mean follow-up of 8.9 ± 6.2 and 14.7 ± 3.9 months for group 1 and group 2, respectively (P =.005). Conclusions Asymptomatic gallstones found before SG tend to have less risk of becoming symptomatic than those formed after weight loss. There was no statistical significant difference because of small sample. Prophylactic cholecystectomy, however, may not be warranted in these patients.