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World J Surg. 2008 Oct;32(10):2230-6. doi: 10.1007/s00268-008-9679-5.

Current status of surgical management of acute cholecystitis in the United States.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Surgical Outcomes Analysis & Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, S3-838, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.



We attempted to determine population-based outcomes of laparoscopic (LC) and open cholecystectomy (OC) for acute cholecystitis (AC).


We used the National Hospital Discharge Surveys from 2000 through 2005. Annual medical and demographic data from a national sample of discharge records from nonfederal, short-stay hospitals were queried. We identified all patients who underwent LC or OC for AC. The main outcome measures were the rate of LC or OC and in-hospital morbidity and mortality. One million patients underwent cholecystectomy (859,747 LCs; 152,202 OCs) for AC during 2000-2005.


Of the cases started laparoscopically, 9.5% were converted to OC. Compared to OC, patients who underwent LC were more likely to be discharged home (91% vs. 70%), carry private insurance (47% vs. 30%), suffer less morbidity (16% vs. 36%), and have a lower unadjusted mortality (0.4% vs. 3.0%). OC was associated with a 1.3-fold increase (95% confidence interval 1.1-1.4) in perioperative morbidity compared to LC after adjusting for patient and hospital factors.


Most patients in the 21st century with AC undergo LC with a low conversion rate and low morbidity. In the general population with acute cholecystitis, LC results in lower morbidity and mortality rates than OC even in the setting of open conversion.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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