Tube cholecystostomy before cholecystectomy for the treatment of acute cholecystitis

Kei Suzuki, Margaret Bower, Sebastiano Cassaro, Rajesh I. Patel, Martin S. Karpeh, I. Michael Leitman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Percutaneous cholecystostomy is currently indicated for patients with cholecystitis who might be poor candidates for operative cholecystectomy. We performed a study to evaluate the long-term outcome of patients undergoing emergent tube cholecystostomy. Methods: This study was a retrospective chart review of patients who underwent tube cholecystostomy from July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2012. Results: During the study period, 82 patients underwent 125 cholecystostomy tube placements. Four patients (5%) died during the year after tube placement. The mean hospital length of stay for survivors was 8.8 days (range, 1–59 days). Twenty-eight patients (34%) required at least 1 additional percutaneous procedure (range, 1–6) for gallbladder drainage. Twenty-nine patients (34%) ultimately underwent cholecystectomy. Surgery was performed a mean of 7 weeks after cholecystostomy tube placement. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was attempted in 25 operative patients but required conversion to an open approach in 8 cases (32%). In another 4 cases, planned open cholecystectomy was performed. Major postoperative complications were limited to 2 patients with postoperative common bile duct obstruction requiring endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, 1 patient requiring a return to the operating room for hemoperitoneum, and 2 patients with bile leak from the cystic duct stump. Conclusions: In high-risk patients receiving cholecystostomy tubes for acute cholecystitis, only about one third will undergo surgical cholecystectomy. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy performed in this circumstance has a higher rate of conversion to open surgery and higher hepatobiliary morbidity rate.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2014.00200
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute cholecystitis
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Percutaneous cholecystostomy


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