To compare the results of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) with those of open cholecystectomy (OC) in the treatment of acute cholecystitis.
A prospective, nonrandomized trial.
"Virgen de la Arrixaca" University Hospital, El Palmar (Murcia), Spain.
One hundred fourteen patients underwent LC, and 110 underwent OC. The patients underwent surgery within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms. The patients were selected for LC or OC depending on the surgeon's experience in laparoscopic surgery.
Main Outcome Measures
Operating time, rate of conversion from LC to OC, complications, and length of hospital stay.
Conversion from LC to OC was necessary in 15% of the patients. The mean operating time was 77 minutes for the OC group and 88 minutes for the LC group (P<.001). Complications occurred in 14% of the patients in the LC group and in 23% of the patients in the OC group, with no significant differences between the 2 groups (P=.06). The number of moderate or severe complications was similar in both groups, whereas mild complications were more common in the OC group (P<.02). The length of the hospital stay averaged 8.1 days for the OC group and 3.3 days for the LC group (P<.001).
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a safe, valid alternative to OC in patients with acute cholecystitis. The technique has a low rate of complications, implies a shorter hospital stay, and offers the patient a more comfortable postoperative period than OC.