Is routine cholecystectomy necessary at the time of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass?

Jerome Taylor, I. Michael Leitman, Michael Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Background: Morbid obesity is associated with an increased incidence of gallstones. Rapid weight loss, as occurs after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) may also increase gallstone development. Standard surgical treatments for gallbladder disease and its complications might be more difficult following RYGBP. Controversy still exists whether prophylactic cholecystectomy is indicated at the time of RYGBP. Methods: Retrospective analysis was performed on a database of 535 patients who underwent RYGBP for morbid obesity during a 5.5-year period. Patients were followed and medical records were reviewed. Ursodeoxycholic acid was not prescribed following surgery. Results: 8% of patients had had cholecystectomy before the RYGBP. 75 of 492 patients (15%) were found to have gallstones at RYGBP, and cholecystectomy was performed at the same time. 3 of these patients had bile leaks but only 1 required further intervention (percutaneous transhepatic drainage for 3 weeks). Following RYGBP, 14 patients (3%) have required cholecystectomy for symptomatic cholelithiasis in the postoperative period. All were performed laparoscopically and without complication. Conclusions: Symptomatic gallbladder disease after RYGBP has not been frequent. Prophylactic cholecystectomy for a normal gallbladder is not necessary at the time of RYGBP. Patients without biliary tract symptoms may not require routine preoperative sonogram. If an abnormal gallbladder or gallstones are found at the time of an RYGBP operation, concomitant cholecystectomy should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-761
Number of pages3
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Gallstones
  • Gastric bypass
  • Morbid obesity


Dive into the research topics of 'Is routine cholecystectomy necessary at the time of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this