Cholecystectomy – Clinical and Economic Outcomes

Clinical + Economic Outcomes – Cholecystectomy

Compared to the traditional “open” procedure, the minimally invasive approach for cholecystectomy may offer:

  • Shorter hospital stay – reduced length of stay by a range of 2 to 9.3 days.20
  • Shorter recovery time – time before returning to normal activities reduced by a range of 8.7 of 14 days.20
  • Quicker return to work – time before returning to work reduced by a range of  7 to 29 days.20
  • Less pain and scarring.

There are risks with any surgery, such as adverse reactions to medications, problems with anesthesia, problems breathing, bleeding, blood clots, inadvertent injury to nearby organs and blood vessels, even death. The procedure for removing the gall bladder (cholecystectomy) has its risks, including slowing down of the intestinal tract (paralytic ileus), wound infection with possible abscess formation, pneumonia, and post-operative leakage of bile. Patients should consult their physicians to determine if this procedure is appropriate for their condition.

Economic data

When compared to an "open" procedure, laparoscopic cholecystectomy is associated with a 50% less postoperative infection rate and a 65% reduction in readmissions.20 The incremental cost associated with cholecystectomy when a patient develops a nosocomial infection is $4,794.49 When controlling for this expenditure, the incremental cost savings from a laparoscopic versus an "open" cholecystectomy is $3,299.49

Other advantages of minimally invasive cholecystectomy may include:

  • Reduction of hospital costs by an average of $291 to $5,290.*,20
  • There were significant cost savings to patients due to faster recovery and a faster return to work.56
  • While “open” surgery has an average complication rate of 4 to 8%, the average minimally invasive cholecystectomy complication rate is only 2 to 5%.56

And with the aging of the population, the need for the laparoscopic cholecystectomy is growing.15 To help meet the demand and improve the quality and reduce costs, an estimated 77% of cholecystectomies will be performed as outpatient procedures by 2014.15

Faster recovery chart

Site References

  • * In a review of 4 studies, 3 studies found an average reduction in hospital costs of $291 to $5,290. One study found an average increase in hospital costs of $1,105 associated with a minimally invasive approach.
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