Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Evidence-based Reviews in Surgery

Early Cholecystectomy for Cholecystitis

Kao, Lillian S., MD, MS*; Ball, Chad G., MD; Chaudhury, Prosanto K., MD for Members of the Evidence Based Reviews in Surgery Group

doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000002867

Question: What are the clinical outcomes of early versus delayed laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) in acute cholecystitis with more than 72 hours of symptoms?

Design: A randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Single center at the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Patients: Eighty-six patients were enrolled in the study that had symptoms of acute cholecystitis lasting more than 72 hours before admission.

Intervention: Patients were randomly assigned to early LC or delayed LC.

Main Outcome: Primary outcome was overall morbidity following initial diagnosis. Secondary outcomes included total length of stay, duration of antibiotic used, cost, and surgical outcome.

Results: Overall morbidity was lower in early laparoscopic cholecystectomy (ELC) [6 (14%) vs 17 (39%) patients, P = 0.015]. Median total length of stay (4 vs 7 days, P < 0.001) and duration of antibiotic therapy (2 vs 10 days, P < 0.001) were shorter in the ELC group. Total hospital costs were lower in ELC (9349€ vs 12,361€, P = 0.018). Operative time and postoperative complications were similar (91 vs 88 minutes; P = 0.910) and (15% vs 17%; P = 1.000), respectively.

Conclusions: ELC for acute cholecystitis even beyond 72 hours of symptoms is safe and associated with less overall morbidity, shorter total hospital stay, and duration of antibiotic therapy, as well as reduced cost compared with delayed cholecystectomy.

*Department of Surgery, McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Department of Surgery University of Calgary, Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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

Reprints: Lillian S. Kao, MD, MS, 6431 Fannin Street, MSB 4.264, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail:

The authors declare no conflict of interests.

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.