Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is one of the most common operations in general surgery.
It is performed by surgeons with a specialist interest in biliary disease as well as by surgeons with other specialist interests.
Dr Boddy and colleagues from the United Kingdom conducted a retrospective audit of all cholecystectomies in a single hospital over a 10-year period from 1996 to 2005.
|Mean operating time was shorter for upper GI cases|
The team extracted data from 2 independent electronic databases.
The team supplemented the extracted data by a full note review of cases with extended postoperative stay or unplanned readmission.
The outcomes for cases under the care of specialist upper gastrointestinal (GI) consultants were compared with those of general surgery consultants from other firms.
The researchers assessed data from 4,139 cholecystectomies.
More cholecystectomies performed by upper gastrointestinal firms were completed laparoscopically, with a higher rate of intraoperative cholangiograms.
The team found that the mean operating time was shorter for upper gastrointestinal firms, as was the postoperative hospital stay.
There also was a significantly lower incidence of bile duct injury in upper gastrointestinal firms.
Dr Boddy's team concluded, "We found evidence of improved outcomes when laparoscopic cholecystectomy is performed under the care of surgeons with a specialist interest in upper gastrointestinal or hepatopancreaticobiliary surgery.