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World J Surg. 1997 Jun;21(5):534-9.

Emergency minilaparotomy cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis: prospective randomized trial--implications for the laparoscopic era.

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  • 1Department of Surgery B, Rambam Medical Center, Bat Galim, Haifa, Israel.


This prospective controlled trial evaluates the efficacy of minicholecystectomy (MC) in cases of acute cholecystitis compared to that of conventional cholecystectomy (CC) and discusses its implications in the laparoscopic era. Sixty consecutive patients with acute cholecystitis were prospectively randomized into two groups: MC group (30 cases) and CC group (30 cases). The two groups were well matched with regard to age, sex, weight/height index, previous upper abdominal surgery, and APACHE II scores. The mean length of incision was 5.5 cm (range 4.5-9.0 cm) in the MC group compared to 13.5 cm (range 12-16 cm) in the CC group. No significant differences were found between MC and CC with regard to operative time (69.1 +/- 17.0 and 68.1 +/- 15.4 minutes, respectively; p = 0.82), operative difficulty on a 1 to 10 scale (5.2 +/- 1.5 versus 4.6 +/- 1.6, respectively; p = 0.177), and complication rate (11% and 17%, respectively; p = 0.19). Significantly lower analgesia requirements were noted in the MC group: 27.5 +/- 14.6 mg of morphine sulfate compared to 44.5 +/- 13.2 mg in the CC group (p < 0.001). In addition, the duration of hospital stay was significantly shorter for MC patients (3.1 +/- 1.0 days) than in CC patients (4.7 +/- 1.2 days) (p < 0.001). Twenty-two patients (73.3%) in the MC group were reported to return to normal daily activities 2 weeks after the operation, compared to only 12 (40%) in the CC group (p = 0.0028). MC is safe and applicable as an emergency procedure for acute cholecystitis. It is superior to CC in terms of convalescence and cosmesis. The results of MC in the setting of acute cholecystitis compare favorably with the published results of laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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