Operative complications and economic outcomes of cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis

Christopher P. Rice, Krishnamurthy B. Vaishnavi, August B. Schaeffer, Celia Chao, Whitney R. Jenson, Lance W. Griffin, William J. Mileski, Daniel Jupiter

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29 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Recent management of acute cholecystitis favors same admission (SA) or emergent cholecystectomy based on overall shorter hospital stay and therefore cost savings. We adopted the practice of SA cholecystectomy for the treatment of acute cholecystitis at our tertiary care center and wanted to evaluate the economic benefit of this practice. We hypothesized that the existence of complications, particularly among patients with a higher degree of disease severity, during SA cholecystectomy could negate the cost savings. AIM To compare complication rates and hospital costs between SA vs delayed cholecystectomy among patients admitted emergently for acute cholecystitis. METHODS Under an IRB-approved protocol, complications and charges for were obtained for SA, later after conservative management (Delayed), or elective cholecystectomies over an 8.5-year period. Patients were identified using the acute care surgery registry and billing database. Data was retrieved via EMR, operative logs, and Revenue Cycle Operations. The severity of acute cholecystitis was graded according to the Tokyo Guidelines. TG18 categorizes acute cholecystitis by Grades 1, 2, and 3 representing mild, moderate, and severe, respectively. Comparisons were analyzed with χ2, Fisher's exact test, ANOVA, ttests, and logistic regression; significance was set at P < 0.05. RESULTS Four hundred eighty-six (87.7%) underwent a SA while 68 patients (12.3%) received Delayed cholecystectomy. Complication rates were increased after SA compared to Delayed cholecystectomy (18.5% vs 4.4%, P = 0.004). The complication rates of patients undergoing delayed cholecystectomy was similar to the rate for elective cholecystectomy (7.4%, P = 0.35). Mortality rates were 0.6% vs 0% for SA vs Delayed. Patients with moderate disease (Tokyo 2) suffered more complications among SA while none who were delayed experienced a complication (16.1% vs 0.0%, P < 0.001). Total hospital charges for SA cholecystectomy were increased compared to a Delayed approach ($44500 ± $59000 vs $35300 ± $16700, P = 0.019). The relative risk of developing a complication was 4.2x [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.4-12.9] in the SA vs Delayed groups. Among eight patients (95%CI: 5.0-12.3) with acute cholecystitis undergoing SA cholecystectomy, one patient will suffer a complication. CONCLUSION Patients with Tokyo Grade 2 acute cholecystitis had more complications and increased hospital charges when undergoing SA cholecystectomy. This data supports a selective approach to SA cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6916-6927
Number of pages12
JournalWorld journal of gastroenterology
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 28 2019


  • Acute cholecystitis
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Complications
  • Delayed cholecystectomy
  • Tokyo guidelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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