Intraoperative ultrasound and prophylactic ursodiol for gallstone prevention following laparoscopic gastric bypass

D. J. Scott, L. Villegas, T. L. Sims, E. C. Hamilton, D. A. Provost, D. B. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies have shown that ursodiol decreases gallstone formation from 32% to 2% following open gastric bypass, but no data exist on laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) using intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) screening. Methods: LRYGB with IOUS were performed on 195 consecutive patients. Patients with gallstones underwent simultaneous cholecystectomy, and patients without gallstones were prescribed ursodiol, 300 mg twice daily, for 6 month. Follow-up survey and ultrasound. Results: Of 195 patients, 44 (23%) had had a prior cholecystectomy, 21 (11%) underwent a simultaneous cholecystectomy, 129 (66%) had gallbladders left intact, and one (0.5%) false negative IOUS was excluded. Of 69 patients with ultrasound and survey follow-up (mean, 10 months), 19 (28%) developed gallstones seven with symptoms), and 50 (72%) were gallstone free. Forty-one percent of patients were compliant with ursodiol. There was no difference in compliance between patients with and without gallstones. In patients with gallstones, all of the symptomatic patients were noncompliant, whereas none of the compliant patients developed symptoms. Medication side-effects occurred in 17 of 69 patients (25%). Conclusions: IOUS during LRYGB efficiently screens for gallstones, and selective cholecystectomy followed by prophylactic ursodiol results in low morbidity. Improvements in compliance may lower the incidence of postoperative gallstone formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1796-1802
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003


  • Gallstone formation
  • Intraoperative ultrasonography
  • Obesity surgery
  • Rouxen-Y gastric bypass
  • Ursodiol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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