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Am Surg. 1986 Apr;52(4):201-4.

Early definitive surgery for acute pancreatitis associated with cholelithiasis.


Since the natural history of pancreatitis associated with cholelithiasis is one of recurrence, surgery for the biliary tract disease is mandatory. But appropriate timing of the surgery remains controversial. Seventy-eight patients have been treated with early surgery once a diagnosis of cholelithiasis associated pancreatitis was made. Eighteen patients had previous episodes of nonalcoholic pancreatitis. Utilizing Ranson's prognostic signs, 52 patients had mild pancreatitis and 26 severe. Sixty-eight patients (87%) had surgery within 72 hours after admission and ten patients (13%) within 5 days. All patients had a cholecystectomy and operative cholangiogram performed. Fifty-six (72%) positive operative cholangiograms were obtained and common bile duct exploration revealed choledocholithiasis in 42 patients (75%). No mortality occurred, and four had six complications including mild persistent pancreatitis (two), wound infection (one), urinary tract infection (one), cardiac arrhythmia (one) and heart block requiring permanent pacemaker (one). The average hospital stay was 10.4 days. T-tube cholangiogram done prior to discharge was normal in all patients, and there have been no episodes of recurrent pancreatitis. Early definitive surgery for pancreatitis associated with cholelithiasis is recommended and can be accomplished with minimal morbidity and mortality coupled with judicious utilization of hospital resources.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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