Survival time of 73 patients with undiagnosed gallbladder carcinoma incidentally found after cholecystectomy treated between 1982 and 2000 was evaluated in relation to various variables, with special reference to the significance of the radical second resection. The most significant prognostic factor was the depth of tumor invasion as assessed by univariate and multivariate analyses (odds ratio 3.40, 95% CI 1.65-7.00, p < 0.001). None of the 23 pT1 patients received radical second resection, and all of them were doing well without recurrence at their last follow-up examination. The 3-year survival rate was 68% for patients with pT2 and 14% for patients with pT3. Patient characteristics for the 18 pT2 patients who underwent radical second resection were similar to the characteristics of the 25 pT2 patients who did not; nor did postoperative survival times differ significantly. Survival time was not correlated with the interval from initial to second surgery or the type of initial cholecystectomy (open vs laparoscopic). In 11 patients with pT2 whose surgical margin was judged positive at initial cholecystectomy, the radical second resection significantly lengthened survival time. Radical second resection tended to prolong the median survival period from 7 to 15 months in 7 patients with pT3, although the difference was not significant. In conclusion, patients with pT1 undiagnosed carcinoma need no further treatment. The redo surgery was found to prolong survival only in patients with pT2 with positive surgical margin at initial cholecystectomy.
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