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June 1975

Eight Hundred Cholecystectomies: A Plea for Many Fewer Drains

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service of the Burbank Hospital, Fitchburg, Mass.

Arch Surg. 1975;110(6):721-724. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360120039007

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.

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