Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy for Acute Cholecystitis in the Elderly: Is it Safe?

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Abstract

Background

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) in patients with acute cholecystitis aged 75 years and older.

Materials and Methods

A retrospective chart review was performed on the 1216 cholecystectomies performed in our department from 2000 to 2005. A total of 225 patients underwent attempted LC for acute cholecystitis, of whom 42 were more than 75 years old and 183 younger.

Results

There was no difference in mean duration of symptoms before admission and length of hospital stay before surgery (3.8 d in elderly vs. 3.1 in younger patients, and 2.8 vs. 2.3 d, respectively). In all, 21% of the elderly patients had American Society of Anesthesiologists score III and IV. Mean operative time and conversion rate to open surgery were similar in both groups. Postoperative stay was longer in elderly (3.9 vs. 2.8). The postoperative complications rate and mortality were significantly higher in the elderly group (31% vs. 15%, and 4.8% vs. 0.5%, respectively).

Conclusions

LC in elderly patients suffering from acute cholecystitis is feasible and effective. It is associated with a higher rate of morbidity unrelated to the surgical site and mortality in elderly compared with younger patients. Stronger selection of elderly patients for surgery is needed.

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