Routine drainage of cholecystectomy wounds has been abandoned at this community hospital and drainage is done only for excessive ooze of bile or blood; for acute suppurative, gangrenous, or perforated cholecystitis; and for extremely debilitated or immunosuppressed patients. In 800 consecutive cholecystectomies, no drain was used in 574 patients (71.7%). There was no increase in complications and no mortality in the undrained patients. There was a substantial decrease in the length of postoperative hospitalization, with 53% of the undrained patients discharged by the sixth postoperative day, compared to only 8.3% of those with drains. It is urged that gallbladder wounds be drained only for specific indications.
Ross FP, Quinlan RM. Eight Hundred CholecystectomiesA Plea for Many Fewer Drains. Arch Surg. 1975;110(6):721-724. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360120039007