Prompt laparoscopic cholecystectomy would reduce morbidity and save hospital resources
Rossi, Benjamin W.
JournalAnnals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
PublisherRoyal College of Surgeons
MetadataShow full item record
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.