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May 1993

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: A Statewide Experience

Author Affiliations

From the Connecticut Society of American Board Surgeons (Drs Orlando and Russell) and the Connecticut Hospital Research and Education Foundation (Mr Lynch and Ms Mattie).

Arch Surg. 1993;128(5):494-499. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420170024002

• The explosion in laparoscopic cholecystectomy has posed many questions about its safety compared with the "gold standard" of open cholecystectomy. A statewide database was established in Connecticut to study these issues. Thirty-three (97%) of 34 hospitals in Connecticut participated in the study, which began at the inception of the laparoscopic procedure. Four thousand six hundred forty laparoscopic cholecystectomies were performed between May 1, 1990, and September 30, 1991. The overall conversion rate to open cholecystecomy was 6.9%. Conversions were more frequent with acute cholecystitis, in the elderly, and early in a surgeon's experience. The overall technical complication rate was 4.7%; common bile duct injuries occurred in 15 patients (0.3%). Complications decreased with increasing experience, to 0.98% after a surgeon's 75th procedure. Six patients (0.13%) died following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The overall mortality rate associated with cholecsytectomy fell during the study period. The frequency of cholecystectomy in Connecticut increased 29% with the advent of the laparoscopic procedure. The introduction of laparoscopic cholecystectomy has resulted in an increased frequency of surgery without an increase in surgical mortality. The incidence of common bile duct injuries was low. The decreasing incidence of technical complications demonstrates the learning curve for the procedure.

(Arch Surg. 1993;128:494-499)

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