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Surg Endosc. 2002 Dec;16(12):1697-703. Epub 2002 Jul 8.

Does a special interest in laparoscopy affect the treatment of acute cholecystitis?

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Department of Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



We tested the hypothesis that the treatment of patients with acute cholecystitis (AC) would be improved under the care of laparoscopic specialists.


The records of patients undergoing cholecystectomy for AC from 1 January 1996 to 31 December 1998 were reviewed retrospectively. Of 170 patients, 48 were cared for by three laparoscopic specialists (LS group), whereas 122 were treated by nine general surgeons who perform only laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) (GS group). The rates of successful LC, complications, and length of hospital stay were compared. Multivariate analysis was used to control for baseline differences.


The patients in the GS group were older (median age, 63 vs 53 years; p = 0.01). In all, 31 LS patients (65%), as compared with 44 GS patients (36%), had successful laparoscopic treatment (p = 0.001). The operating time was the same (median, 70 min). The proportion of patients with postoperative complications was similar in the two groups (37% in the GS vs 31% in the LS group; p = 0.6). The median postoperative hospital stay (3 vs 5 days; p <0.01) was shorter in the LS group. On logistic regression analysis, significant predictors of a successful laparoscopic operation included LS group (p <0.01) and age (p = 0). Predictors of prolonged length of hospital stay were age (p <0.01) and comorbidity score (p <0.01), with LS group status not a significant factor (p = 0.21).


Patients with AC are more likely to undergo successful LC if cared for by a surgeon with an interest in laparoscopy. However, length of hospital stay is influenced more by patient factors in a multivariate model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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