JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Day-case versus overnight stay for laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Kurinchi Selvan Gurusamy, Sameer Junnarkar, Marwan Farouk, Brian R Davidson
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008 July 16, (3): CD006798
18677781

BACKGROUND: Although day-case elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy can save bed costs, its safety remains to be established.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the safety and benefits of day-case surgery compared to overnight stay in patients undergoing elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched The Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index Expanded until April 2008 for identifying randomised trials using search strategies.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Only randomised clinical trials, irrespective of language, blinding, or publication status, comparing day-case and overnight stay in elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy were considered for the review.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We collected the data on the characteristics of the trial, methodological quality of the trials, morbidity, prolonged hospitalisation, re-admissions, pain and quality of life from each trial. We analysed the data with both the fixed-effect and the random-effects models using RevMan Analysis. For each outcome we calculated the risk ratio, weighted mean difference, or standardised mean difference with 95% confidence intervals (CI) based on available case-analysis.

MAIN RESULTS: Five trials with 429 patients randomised to the day-case group (215) and overnight stay group (214) were included in the review. All the trials were of high risk of bias. The trials recruited 49% of patients undergoing cholecystectomy. The selection criteria varied, but most included only patients without other diseases. The patients were living in easy reach of the hospital and with a responsible adult to take care of them. On the day of surgery, 81% of day-case patients were discharged. The drop-out rate after randomisation varied from 6.5% to 12.7%. There was no significant difference between day-case and overnight stay group as regards to morbidity, prolongation of hospital stay, re-admission rates, pain, quality of life, patient satisfaction and return to normal activity and work.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Day-case elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy seems to be a safe and effective intervention in selected patients (with no or minimal systemic disease and within easy reach of the hospital) with symptomatic gallstones. Because of the decreased hospital stay, it is likely to save costs.

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