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June 1986

Hospital Stay Following Biliary Tract SurgeryA Comparison of Two Community Hospitals

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

Arch Surg. 1986;121(6):693-696. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1986.01400060087012

• An apparent difference in length of postoperative hospitalization following biliary tract surgery at two university-affiliated community hospitals led to a retrospective review of 200 consecutive patients at each hospital. Patient characteristics and surgical practices that potentially affected hospital stay were compared. A highly significant difference was identified in the length of hospitalization between the two institutions. Statistically significant differences in variables that seemed to affect length of stay included the use of nasogastric tubes and abdominal drains and the time interval to the institution of postoperative feedings. Cumulative hospitalization was 517 days shorter at one institution. This was accomplished despite a high percentage of emergent procedures and more frequent involvement of surgical residents. Since hospital stay accounts for the majority of expenditure for surgical treatment of biliary tract disease, shortening postoperative hospitalization can significantly reduce the overall costs.

(Arch Surg 1986;121:693-696)