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J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2020 Feb 11. doi: 10.1089/lap.2019.0655. [Epub ahead of print]

Laparoscopic Versus Open Cholecystectomy in Pediatric Patients: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis.

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Department of Surgery, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.
Department of Surgery, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Dallas, Texas.
Department of Surgery, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, District of Columbia.
Department of Surgery, University of Miami, Miami, Florida.


Background: As minimally invasive pediatric surgery becomes standard approach to many surgical solutions, access has become an important point for improvement. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is the gold standard for many conditions affecting the gallbladder; however, open cholecystectomy (OC) is offered as the initial approach in a surprisingly high percentage of cases. Materials and Methods: The Kids' Inpatient Database (1997-2012) was searched for International Classification of Disease, 9th revision, Clinical Modification procedure code (51.2x). LC and OC performed in patients <20 years old were identified. Propensity score-matched analyses using 39 variables were performed to isolate the effects of race, income group, location, gender, payer status, and hospital size on the percentage of LCs and OCs offered. Cases were weighted to provide national estimates. Results: A total of 78,578 cases were identified, comprising LC (88.1%) and OC (11.9%). Girls were 1.6 (CI: 1.4, 1.7) times more likely to undergo LC versus boys. Large facilities were 1.4 (1.3, 1.7) times more likely to perform LCs than small facilities. Children in lower income quartiles were 1.2 (1.1, 1.3) times more likely to undergo LC compared with those in higher income quartiles. Rates of LC were not affected by race, hospital location, or payer status. Conclusions: Risk-adjusted analysis of a large population-based data set demonstrated evidence that confirms, but also refutes, traditional disparities to minimally invasive surgery access. Despite laparoscopic gold standard, OC remains the initial approach in a surprisingly high percentage of pediatric cases independent of demographics or socioeconomic status. Additional research is required to identify factors affecting the distribution of LC and OC within the pediatric population.


cholecystectomy; disparities; pediatric surgery


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