Thomas B. Russell, Somaiah Aroori

Clinic of Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgery, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Plymouth, United Kingdom


The number of patients with obesity is set to rise, as is the proportion with severe obesity. These patients are a high-risk subgroup who present addi- tional challenges to the surgeon when performing laparoscopic cholecystectomy. It is important that all surgeons who perform this procedure have a safe strategy they can revert to. This article outlines our approach. After obtaining pneumoperitoneum via a supra-umbilical incision, we advise placing a fascial suture before proceeding with the operation. This allows for high-quality closure, reduces the incidence of incisional hernia, and reduces the risk of inadvertent bowel injury. We also advise the repositioning of the patient on the operating table prior to port placement such that an ergonomic set-up can be achieved. In addition to standard ports, we use an additional twelve-millimetre port in the left upper quadrant. A fan retractor can be inserted via this port and used to gently retract the duodenum inferiorly. This provides adequate exposure for Calot’s dissection and arguably reduces the risk of injury to a fatty liver. This technique can also be used in non-obese patients in whom Calot’s dissection is particularly challenging, for instance in those who undergo delayed cholecystectomy.

Keywords: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, obese, morbid, severe, bariatric, day case surgery


Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept - S.A., T.B.R.; Design - S.A., T.B.R.; Supervision - S.A.; Literature Search - T.B.R.; Writing Manuscript - T.B.R.; Critical Reviews - S.A.

Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.