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Early Cholecystectomy Is Superior to Delayed Cholecystectomy for Acute Cholecystitis: a Meta-analysis

  • Original Article
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Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

Abstract

Introduction

The timing of laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis remains an issue for debate amongst general surgeons. The aim of this study was to compare clinical outcomes between early and delayed cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis. The primary outcome measures included mortality rates, complication rates, length of hospital stay and conversion rates to open procedures.

Materials and Methods

A search of electronic databases was performed for randomised controlled trials. Fifteen studies were included.

Results

Early surgery has a decreased risk of wound infections (RR 0.57, 95 % CI 0.35–0.93, p = 0.01) compared with delayed surgery but no difference in mortality, bile duct injuries, bile duct leaks and the risk of conversion to open surgery. Of patients in the delayed group, 9.7 % failed initial non-operative management and underwent emergency LC. Early surgery had a significantly reduced total hospital stay and mean hospital costs compared with delayed surgery.

Conclusion

Early laparoscopic cholecystectomy in acute cholecystitis demonstrated decreased incidence of wound infections, a shorter total length of stay and decreased costs with no difference in the rates of mortality, bile duct injuries, bile leaks and conversions. These results support that early laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the best care and should be considered a routine in patients presenting with acute cholecystitis.

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Correspondence to Michael R. Cox.

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Cao, A.M., Eslick, G.D. & Cox, M.R. Early Cholecystectomy Is Superior to Delayed Cholecystectomy for Acute Cholecystitis: a Meta-analysis. J Gastrointest Surg 19, 848–857 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11605-015-2747-x

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