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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2009 Oct;91(7):583-90. doi: 10.1308/003588409X432365. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Introduction of a day-case laparoscopic cholecystectomy service in the UK: a critical analysis of factors influencing same-day discharge and contact with primary care providers.

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Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK.



The objective of this study was to determine the safety and acceptability of the implementation of a day-case laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) service in a large UK teaching hospital, and analyse factors influencing contact with primary care providers. Wide-spread introduction of day-case LC in the UK is a major target of healthcare providers. However, few centres have reported their experience. In the US, out-patient surgery for LC has been reported, though many groups have utilised 24-h observation units to facilitate discharge. Concerns remain amongst surgeons regarding the feasibility and acceptability of the introduction of day-case LC in the UK.


Comprehensive care and operative data were prospectively collected on the first 106 consecutive day-case procedures in our hospital. Postoperative recovery was monitored by telephone questionnaire on days 2, 5 and 14, including complications, satisfaction and general practitioner consultation.


A total of 106 patients were admitted for day-case LC, of whom 84% were discharged on the day of surgery. Patient satisfaction rate was 94% in both the successful day-case and the admitted patients. Mean operation time was 62 min, with an average total stay on the day-care unit of 426 min. Training-grade surgeons performed 31% of operations. Both the readmission rate after surgery and rate of conversion to open surgery were 2%. Advice from primary healthcare providers was sought by 33% of patients within the first 14 postoperative days.


Introduction of day-case LC in the UK is feasible and acceptable to patients. The potential burden to primary care providers needs further study.

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