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Am Surg. 1992 Mar;58(3):206-10.

An early review of 800 laparoscopic cholecystectomies at a university-affiliated community teaching hospital.

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Department of Surgery, Georgia Baptist Medical Center, Atlanta 30312.


Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) was first performed at Georgia Baptist Medical Center (GBMC) in December 1989, subsequently becoming the treatment of choice for most patients with symptomatic gallbladder disease. Early in the authors' series, all patients evaluated for cholecystitis were treated laparoscopically, unless the third party refused reimbursement or the attending surgeon was not trained in LC. Indications for LC were no different than for standard open cholecystectomy (OC). Eight hundred patients from December 1989 to March 1991 had an attempted LC at GBMC. The procedure was completed in 782 patients (97.7%) and required conversion to OC in 18 patients, (2.3%) primarily because of technical difficulties such as dense adhesions or gangrenous changes. No patient sustained a trocar injury to the intra-abdominal viscera, bile ducts injury, or major vascular injury. Overall morbidity was 3.1 per cent and mortality 0.13 per cent. Selective cholangiography (SIOC) was used in 14 per cent. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), choledochoscopy, and Fogarty catheter techniques were used for common bile duct stone management. Average hospitalization was 0.89 days, with 85 per cent discharged in less than 24 hours. Average operative time was 86 minutes (range: 25 to 353). Patients returned to full activities at home in 8.4 days. Savings on hospital charges to patients averaged $1,100 for inpatient LC and $2,500 for outpatient LC when compared to 1989 costs for OC. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the current surgical procedure of choice for most patients with cholecystitis and can be done at least as safely as standard open cholecystectomy. The morbidity appears to be significantly less with LC, but longer follow-up is needed to confirm these preliminary findings.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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