Laparoscopic vs. open cholecystectomy in patients aged 65 and older

J A Lujan, F Sanchez-Bueno, P Parrilla, R Robles, J A Torralba, R Gonzalez-Costea
Surgical Laparoscopy & Endoscopy 1998, 8 (3): 208-10
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) has displaced open cholecystectomy (OC) in the management of cholelithiasis. However, there are few studies on the role of this technique in patients who run a high risk of surgical complications. We performed a prospective study in 264 patients aged >65 years undergoing surgery for symptomatic cholelithiasis. They were divided into two groups according to the surgical technique performed: OC (131 patients) and LC (133 patients). Conversion from LC to OC was necessary in 11 patients (8.3%). Mean surgery time was 70.9 min for the OC group and 75 min for the LC group. The LC group had a lower rate of postoperative complications (13.53%) than the OC group (23.6%). The incidence of mild complications was similar in both groups; however, the rate of moderate complications was significantly higher in the OC group. Hospital stay was significantly longer in the OC group (9.9 days) than in the LC group (3.71 days). These results suggest that LC should be indicated in elderly patients, as they are better than those obtained with with OC and involve a lower morbidity rate and shorter hospital stay.

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