Metastatic disease to the gallbladder is unusual. The most common malignancy metastatic to the gallbladder is melanoma, followed by renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and breast cancer. Due to the unusual nature of the disease, there are no trials available for review. Thus, the management for these patients has been based on institutional experience and review of case series. The indications for surgical intervention for melanoma are metastatic disease discrete to the gallbladder and biliary symptoms, which are uncommon for melanoma, but might occur due to cystic duct obstruction culminating in cholecystitis. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy without a lymphadenectomy is emerging as the preferred approach for this metastatic deposit. The vast majority of patients with metastases to the gallbladder from RCC carry a good prognosis and a laparoscopic cholecystectomy should be considered. Patients with metastases to the gallbladder from the breast classically present with biliary symptoms and commonly undergo a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, which invariably demonstrates a deposit in the gallbladder from lobular breast cancer. In the present report, we review the indications for surgical intervention from various malignancies metastatic to the gallbladder and the current consensus for the laparoscopic approach from the diverse metastatic deposits to the gallbladder.
ASJC Scopus subject areas