Four to 8 weeks is the optimal timeframe within which to perform re-resection of gallbladder cancer discovered during elective cholecystectomy, according to a study published in JAMA Surgery.1

At least half of gallbladder cancers are discovered during a cholecystectomy for a growth presumed to be benign. Guidelines recommend resection of these incidental gallbladder cancers (IGBCs), but the optimal time for re-resection after cholecystectomy is unknown. Time to re-resection varies from 1 day to more than 2 years.

Researchers reviewed data from 207 patients with IGBC to determine the best of 3 time intervals: fewer than 4 weeks (group A), 4-8 weeks (group B), and more than 8 weeks (group C).

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Median overall survival was longest in group B (40.4 months); groups A and C had overall survival rates of 17.4 months and 22.4 months, respectively.

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Despite the inability to exactly assess for disease-specific survival, the authors recommend re-resection within the 4-8 week time period in the IGBC setting.


  1. Ethun CG, Postlewait LM, Le N, et al. Association of optimal time interval to re-resection for incidental gallbladder cancer with overall survival: A multi-institution analysis from the US Extrahepatic Biliary Malignancy Consortium. JAMA Surg. 2016 Oct 26. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2016.3642 [Epub ahead of print]