Early versus delayed cholecystectomy in patients with biliary acute pancreatitis

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BackgroundIn patients with biliary acute pancreatitis (AP), cholecystectomy is mandatory to prevent further biliary events, but timing of cholecystectomy remains a subject of ongoing debate. The objective of the present, retrospective study was to compare the outcomes of early (within 2 weeks after onset of disease) versus delayed cholecystectomy in patients with biliary AP.MethodsBetween January 2000 and December 2005, 112 patients underwent cholecystectomy because of biliary AP. Thirteen patients were excluded from analysis because of necrotizing pancreatitis on the initial computed tomography. Thirty-two were operated within 14 days (group A) and 67 after a longer time period (group B). The primary end point of the study was the rate of biliary complications before cholecystectomy.ResultsThere were no differences regarding conversion rates to open surgery (6% vs 3%; P = .59), local (3% vs 4%; P = 1.00), or systemic complications (0% vs 3%; P = 1.00), and mean postoperative stay (4.7 vs 5.7 days; P = .40). Nevertheless, a greater rate of recurrent biliary pancreatitis was found in the group undergoing cholecystectomy later (0% vs 13%; P < .03).ConclusionThe timing of cholecystectomy seems to have no clinically relevant effect on local or systemic complications, but delaying cholecystectomy is associated with an increase of biliary complications in patients with non-necrotizing biliary AP.

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