Skip to main content
Log in

Cost-effectiveness of laparoscopic cholecystectomy

  • Original Articles
  • Published:
Surgical Endoscopy Aims and scope Submit manuscript


This study retrospectively evaluated the cost-effectiveness of laparoscopic cholecystectomy compared to open cholecystectomy in a single university-affiliated community hospital. The medical records of all patients that underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy during 1990 and open cholecystectomy during 1989 in one hospital were reviewed. Hospital stay, hospital charges, surgeons' and anesthesiologists' fees were determined. Fifty patients from each group were contacted to determine recovery time to full activity after surgery. Those having common duct exploration and those converted to open cholecystectomy after an attempted laparoscopic cholecystectomy (n=8) were excluded. A summary of results is included below (Table 1).

In our early experience with laparoscopic cholecystectomy we found that the total charges for laparoscopic cholecystectomy were more than for open cholecystectomy when one recognizes the 1-year difference in patient accrual between the two groups. Time to full recovery was markedly reduced in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy compared to those having an open procedure. Despite the overall increased total charge with laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the shorter recovery period allowing the patients an earlier return to full preoperative activities contributes to its cost-effectiveness when compared to open cholecystectomy. Further experience with laparoscopic cholecystectomy and refinements in management of these patients should allow for further reductions in charges for this procedure.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Bass E, Pitt H, Lillemoe K (1993) Cost-effectiveness of laparoscopic cholecystectomy versus open cholecystectomy. Am J Surg 165: 466–471

    Google Scholar 

  2. Larson G, Vitale G, Casey J, Evans J, Gilliam G, Heuser L, McGee G, Rao M, Scherm M, Voyles C (1992) Multipractice analysis of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in 1983 patients. Am J Surg 163: 221–226

    Google Scholar 

  3. Legorreta A, Silber J, Costantino G, Kobylinski R, Zatz S (1993) Increased cholecystectomy rate after the introduction of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. J Am Med Assoc 270: 1429–1432

    Google Scholar 

  4. NIH Consensus Conference (1993) Gallstones and laparoscopic cholecystectomy. J Am Med Assoc 269: 1018–1024

    Google Scholar 

  5. Orlando R, Russel J, Lynch J, Matte A (1993) Connecticut laparoscopic cholecystectomy registry. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: a statewide experience. Arch Surg 128: 494–499

    Google Scholar 

  6. Soper N, Stockmann P, Dunnegan D, Ashley S (1992) Laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The new “gold standard”. Arch Surg 127: 917–923

    Google Scholar 

  7. The Southern Surgeons Club (1991) A prospective analysis of 1518 laparoscopic cholecystectomies. N Engl J Med 324: 1073–1518

    Google Scholar 

  8. Voyles C, Petro A, Meena A, Haick A, Koury M (1991) A practical approach to laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Am J Surg 161: 365–370

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the DOD, the USAF, or of other federal agencies. The authors above are responsible for the contents of the paper.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

McKellar, D.P., Johnson, R.M., Dutro, J.A. et al. Cost-effectiveness of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Surg Endosc 9, 158–163 (1995).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words