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ANZ J Surg. 2010 Jun;80(6):438-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2010.05312.x.

Does an acute care surgical model improve the management and outcome of acute cholecystitis?

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Department of General Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital and University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


The aim of this study was to compare the management and outcome of acute cholecystitis in an acute care surgery (ACS) model to that of the traditional home-call attending surgeon. The ACS model is one in which a consultant led team manage all emergency surgical presentations. The consultant is involved with every decision made including theatre allocation. Records of all patients who underwent an emergency cholecystectomy in the 2 years before and after introduction of an ACS model were reviewed. A total of 202 patients were recruited into this study. The groups were matched for sex, age and insurance status. There was a decrease in the median time to theatre (1 versus 2 days) and total length of stay (4 versus 6 days) in the ACS group. There was no significant difference in the conversion rate between the groups. However, there was a decreased complication rate in the ACS group (8.7 versus 17.2%). There were no differences in the histological findings. Consultant presence in theatre was higher in the ACS group (73.9 versus 56.3%), and they were more often assisting (30.4 versus 4.6%). Results suggest that an ACS model is beneficial to patient care with shorter hospital stay and a decreased complication rate. This may reflects a greater input to patient assessment and management by the on-site consultant. In addition, the ACS model provides greater consultant supervision to the trainee.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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