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HPB Surgery
Volume 9 (1996), Issue 2, Pages 71-75

Laparoscopic Versus Open Cholecystectomy: A Prospective Matched-Cohort Study

Department of Surgery, Westeinde Hospital, The Hague, The Netherlands

Received 28 October 1993

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To compare the results of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) and open cholecystectomy (OC) for symptomatic cholelithiasis in elective surgery we performed a prospective matched-cohort study. Hundred consecutive patients who underwent LC in the period Sept. 1990-June 1992, and 100 patients who were age and sex matched and underwent an elective OC in the foregoing two years (1989-1990) were studied. The median operation time for LC (75, 40-180 min) was significantly longer than for OC (55, 20-155 min; p < 0.001). Postoperative hospitalization was significantly shorter after LC (3, 1-16 days), compared with OC (7, 4-22 days; p<0.001). Conversion of LC to OC occurred in 12 (12%) patients initially scheduled to undergo LC. Complications occurred in 5 patients (5%) after LC and in 5 patients (5%) after OC. The calculated expenses (operation and postoperative hospitalization, 3rd class) were approximately fl. 3740,- for LC (excl. investments for pieces of apparatus) and fl. 6725,- for OC. This study demonstrates that LC can be performed safely with the number of complications comparable to those for OC. Bile duct injury is a serious potential threat. The main advantages ofLC are the minimal trauma, with more rapid recovery. Insurers seem to benefit from reduced postoperative disability and earlier discharge.