Prompt laparoscopic cholecystectomy would reduce morbidity and save hospital resources

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Rossi, Benjamin W.
Bassett, Euan
Martin, M.
Andrews, S.
Wajed, Shahjehan
Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Journal Article
Royal College of Surgeons
INTRODUCTION: Limited resources and organisational problems often result in significant waiting times for patients presenting with an indication for cholecystectomy. This study investigated the potential false economy of such practice. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of all patients on a waiting list for cholecystectomy between July 2007 and October 2010 was performed. The hospital computer document management system and patients' notes were used to collect data. RESULTS: A total of 1,021 patients were included in the study; 701 were listed from clinic and 320 were listed following an emergency admission. The median time on a waiting list before surgery was 96 days (range: 5-381 days). Eighty-seven patients (8.5%) had an emergency admission with a gallstone related problem while on a waiting list. This resulted in 488 cumulative inpatient days. There was a significant correlation between increased time spent on the waiting list and increased chance of an emergency admission (p=0.01). Patients added to the waiting list from emergency admissions were more likely to be admitted with complications than those listed from clinic (15.3% vs 5.4%, p<0.01). There was no association between age (p=0.53) or sex (p=0.23) and likelihood of emergency admission while on a waiting list. CONCLUSIONS: Prompt elective surgery and same-admission emergency laparoscopic cholecystectomy can reduce waiting list patient morbidity and is likely to save resources in the long term.
Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2014 May;96(4):294-6.