Laparoscopic versus open cholecystectomy: a matched study

J R Sanabria, P A Clavien, R Cywes, S M Strasberg
Canadian Journal of Surgery. Journal Canadien de Chirurgie 1993, 36 (4): 330-6
To determine the efficacy of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) in the treatment of gallstone disease, all patients who underwent elective surgery for cholelithiasis during three consecutive periods (1989, 1990 and 1991) were studied. There were 121 patients in each period. All patients in the first period underwent open cholecystectomy (OC), whereas 70 (58%) patients underwent laparoscopic procedures in the second period (OC-LC). LC was the treatment of choice in the third period. Multiple factors, including sex, age, clinical and biochemical presentation of the disease and modified Apache II score were comparable among the three groups. The authors found significant differences in length of hospitalization (6.4 +/- 4.2 days in the OC group, 3.6 +/- 2.4 days in the OC-LC group and 2.4 +/- 1.7 days in the LC group, p < 0.01 when compared with the OC group) and return to work after surgery (5.8 +/- 2.8 weeks, 2.8 +/- 1.2 weeks and 1.3 +/- 1.8 weeks respectively, p < 0.01 when compared with the OC group). There was no significant difference in postoperative complications among the groups, but complications in the OC patients were more severe. Although operative time increased significantly after the introduction of LC, it returned to the range of OC after 36 procedures. Nine patients (5%) with LC required conversion to OC. Benefits of LC include a shorter hospital stay and a shorter recovery period. There were no deaths, very low morbidity, a substantial decrease in overall cost and a high degree of patient satisfaction with LC.

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