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Short- and long-term outcomes following percutaneous cholecystostomy for acute cholecystitis in high-risk patients

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Abstract

Background

Percutaneous cholecystostomy is a less invasive method to treat acute cholecystitis in patients who are critically ill or have serious medical comorbidities precluding the use of general anesthesia. It remains controversial whether interval cholecystectomy is warranted. The objectives of the study were to determine the success rate and complications of percutaneous cholecystostomy and the proportion of patients without recurrent attacks in whom interval cholecystectomy was not needed.

Methods

This was a retrospective review to determine the outcomes after percutaneous cholecystostomy for acute calculous cholecystitis between 1995 and 2007. Administrative data were used to better capture recurrent symptoms requiring treatment.

Results

Sixty-eight patients with a mean age of 74 years were identified. Sixty-seven (98.5%) underwent successful insertion of the cholecystostomy tubes. Eleven patients suffered tube-related complications, including tube dislodgment (9), tube blockage (1), and bleeding that was controlled with conservative management (1). The initial episode of cholecystitis was treated successfully in 58 patients (85%). The overall in-hospital and 30-day mortality were both 15% (10 patients). A total of 7 patients (10%) underwent cholecystectomy while still in hospital. There were 39 patients at risk for recurrent disease who survived the initial episode and did not receive an interval cholecystectomy. Of these 39 patients, 16 (41%) suffered recurrent gallbladder-related disease.

Conclusions

Percutaneous cholecystostomy is an alternative to cholecystectomy in patients with acute calculous cholecystitis who are at high risk for surgical mortality and morbidity. It appears to have a low complication rate and good clinical success. Because a significant number of patients suffer recurrent attacks, elective cholecystectomy should be considered routinely. Unfortunately, firm criteria for selecting percutaneous cholecystostomy over cholecystectomy are lacking, and the surgeon’s clinical judgment is critically important.

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Acknowledgments

The results and conclusions presented are those of the authors. No official endorsement by Manitoba Health is intended or should be inferred.

Disclosure

Drs. McKay, Abulfaraj, and Lipschitz have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Andrew McKay.

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McKay, A., Abulfaraj, M. & Lipschitz, J. Short- and long-term outcomes following percutaneous cholecystostomy for acute cholecystitis in high-risk patients. Surg Endosc 26, 1343–1351 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-011-2035-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-011-2035-0

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