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Emergency cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates in patients with significant comorbidities and high-risk surgery. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness, possible advantages, and complications of percutaneous cholecystostomy (PC) followed by an early laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) in relation to conservative treatment followed by a delayed LC in high-surgical risk patients. Between 2002 and 2004, patients were randomly classified into 2 groups: the first group consisted of patients who had PC followed by an early LC (PCLC group, n = 31) and the second group consisted of patients who had conservative treatment followed by a delayed LC (DLC group, n = 30). The groups were statistically compared regarding their demographic, comorbidity, hospital stay, conversion, and complication rates. PC was technically successful in 31 patients with no attributable mortality or major complications. No difference had been found in regarding demographic, comorbidity, and complication rates. In PCLC group, all the patients experienced symptom relief within 24 hours, and early LC was attempted in 31 patients once their clinical condition was sufficiently stable, this was successfully accomplished in 29 (93.5%). In the DLC group, delayed LC was attempted in 30 patients, and this was successfully accomplished in 26 (86.6%). The hospital stay was shorter and cost was in the PCLC group was lower than in the DLC group. PC allows resolution of sepsis in patients at high surgical risk. Early LC could be safely performed once sepsis and acute infection resolved in these patients.