Outcomes of Patients Treated With Upfront Cholecystostomy for Severe Acute Cholecystitis

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Introduction:Percutaneous cholecystostomy tube (PCT) placement is a treatment method for acute cholecystitis, both in adult patients unsuitable for surgery and those failing to improve with conservative management. The purpose of this study was to assess the outcomes of patients undergoing cholecystostomy.Materials and Methods:A review of consecutive patients who underwent PCT insertion over a 10-year period was performed. Outcomes assessed included cholecystostomy dwell time, tubogram requirement, cholecystostomy reinsertion, cholecystectomy, bile leaks, and mortality.Results:One hundred eight patients (77 male individuals, 31 female individuals) were included. The mean age was 70 years (range: 29 to 93 y). A total of 89 transhepatic and 19 transperitoneal PCTs were inserted. Fifty-nine patients (55%) had a subsequent tubogram to assess cystic duct patency or catheter position. Mean catheter dwell time was 17 days (range: 1 to 154 d). Eleven (10%) required PCT reinsertion. Time to reinsertion ranged from 2 to 163 days (mean=38 d). Fifty-three patients (50%) had no further biliary intervention after removal of the cholecystostomy catheter. One patient required subsequent drainage of a hepatic abscess, and another developed a biloma. Thirty-two patients (30%) underwent cholecystectomy (66% laparoscopic, 34% open). Thirty-day mortality after PCT insertion was 8.3%. Twenty patients (19%) died of non–cholecystostomy-related illness during the 10-year follow-up period.Conclusions:Cholecystostomy is an important treatment method of acute cholecystitis as a bridge to cholecystectomy or as an alternative definitive treatment option in those unsuitable for surgery. A tubogram is not always necessary before tube removal. Cholecystostomy tubes can be removed safely with little risk of bile leak if patients are clinically well, and clean-appearing bile is draining.

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