, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 1928-1934
Date: 09 Apr 2008

A meta-analysis of ambulatory versus inpatient laparoscopic cholecystectomy

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Abstract

Background

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is increasingly used on an ambulatory basis. This study aimed to examine its effectiveness for carefully selected patients.

Methods

A systematic review of Cochrane, Embase, and Medline using the keywords “ambulatory,” “laparoscopic,” and “cholecystectomy” was performed. Postoperative complications leading to admissions and readmissions were compared between day care and inpatient laparoscopic cholecystectomy groups. Postoperative quality of life, patient satisfaction, and cost effectiveness also were analyzed.

Results

The search process identified seven clinical trials suitable for meta-analysis. These trials, consisting of 598 patients, compared day care and inpatient procedures. The unplanned admission rate in the ambulatory group was comparable with the prolonged hospitalization of inpatients (odds ratio [OR], 1.979; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.846–4.628). There was no significant difference between the readmission rates of the two groups (OR, 0.964; 95% CI, 0.318–2.922). The quality-of-life indicators were similar for the ambulatory and overnight-stay patients (p = 0.195). The cost effectiveness was better for the day care procedures because of the shorter mean hospital stay.

Conclusion

Ambulatory laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed safely for selected patients, with reduced cost and a high level of patient satisfaction.