BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is the treatment of choice for symptomatic cholecystolithiasis. Despite the many advantages over open surgery, many patients complain about referred pain to the shoulder during the postoperative course. The purpose of this review was to evaluate different intraoperative surgical methods to minimize shoulder pain (SP). METHODS: A search of the literature was conducted using PubMed, Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE), and Cochrane database of systematic reviews. Eligibility criteria were: randomized clinical trials or meta-analysis evaluating intraoperative surgical methods applied to minimize incidence or severity of SP after LC. Only papers published in English were included. Data extracted were year of publication, number of participants and allocation, nonsignificant or significant effect on incidence or severity of SP. RESULTS: A total of 31 papers where included in the review. Seven, 8, and 12 papers investigated the effect of drains, abdominal wall lift (AWL), and low-pressure pneumoperitoneum respectively. Four papers investigated drain suction, active gas aspiration, low insufflation flow or N(2)O insufflation respectively. The interventions that overall showed a significant reduction on either the incidence or severity of SP were low-pressure pneumoperitoneum, low insufflation rate, and active gas aspiration. CONCLUSIONS: Drainage and AWL are not recommended to reduce SP after LC. Low-pressure pneumoperitoneum with carbon dioxide is the best documented intraoperative surgical method to minimize both the incidence and severity of SP after LC.
Surgical Endoscopy, 2013, Vol 27, Issue 7, p. 2275-2282