Early Cholecystectomy Cuts Pancreatitis Hospital Stay

In mild to moderate gallstone pancreatitis cases procedure has no extra complications

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with mild to moderate gallstone pancreatitis, early cholecystectomy reduces the length of time spent in hospital with no additional risk of mortality or complications, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

David K. Rosing, M.D., of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., and colleagues compared the outcomes for two groups of patients, including 177 who were reviewed retrospectively and did not undergo early cholecystectomy, and 43 patients who all had a cholecystectomy within 48 hours of hospital admission.

For the early cholecystectomy group, the average hospital stay was four days versus seven days for the control group, in which the median time from admission to cholecystectomy was five days. The rates of complications and mortality were similar for both groups.

"Although delay in surgery remains the standard of care for severe gallstone pancreatitis, the timing of cholecystectomy for mild to moderate gallstone pancreatitis remains controversial. There has been a paucity of studies addressing this issue in the laparoscopic era, and none has been prospective or randomized," the authors write. "Patients with mild to moderate gallstone pancreatitis can safely undergo early cholecystectomy without waiting for the normalization of laboratory values or resolution of symptoms," they conclude.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing