Impact of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in a major teaching hospital: clinical and hospital outcomes

David I. Watson, George Matthew, J. Anthony, R Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To compare the clinical, training and cost implications of laparoscopic cholecystectomy with open cholecystectomy. Setting A university teaching hospital. Design A retrospective review of all patients who underwent cholecystectomy in 1989, before the introduction of the laparoscopic technique, and in 1993, after the learning curve for laparoscopic cholecystectomy had been overcome. Main outcome measures Surgical indications, feasibility of laparoscopic approach, type of surgeon, operating time, hospital stay, postoperative complications, and cost analysis. Results 240 cholecystectomies were performed in 1989 and 293 in 1993. This is a 22% increase in overall workload and includes a significant increase (85%; P< 0.0001) in elective caseload. In 1993, 89% of patients underwent laparoscopic surgery, with conversion to open cholecystectomy in 6.8% of elective patients and 33% of emergency patients. Surgical indications remained the same, as did the time from diagnosis to cholecystectomy. There were significant changes in median length of hospital stay (from 10 days in 1989 to 4 days in 1993; P< 0.0001), successful intraoperative cholangiography (93% versus 73%; P< 0.0001), and exploration of the common bile duct (15% versus 5% of patients; P= 0.0005). The number of cholecystectomies performed by surgeons‐in‐training decreased from 65% to 40%, individual treatment costs were reduced by 62% and overall hospital costs were reduced by 53%. Complications fell from 12% to 7% (P=0.07), with the only major bile duct injury occurring in 1989. There were three deaths in 1989 and two deaths in 1993. All deaths followed open surgery. Conclusions Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is associated with improved patient outcomes and, despite the increased workload, significant savings for hospitals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-530
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • laparoscopic surgery
  • cholecystectomy
  • costs


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in a major teaching hospital: clinical and hospital outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this