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 24 November 2017

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News

The cost of waiting for gall bladder surgery is high

A significant amount of money is being used to treat patients with recurrent gallstone problems while they await surgery, find researchers in the latest issue of the Postgraduate Medical Journal.

News image

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Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is one of the most commonly awaited general surgical procedures in the United Kingdom.

Many patients are admitted with recurrent gallstone related-symptoms while on the waiting-list for this procedure.

In this study, a team at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Wales, analyzed 156 patients who underwent elective gallbladder surgery, between 1999 and 2000.

The average waiting time for surgery in these patients was 12 months.

The cost of treatment per episode = £946.
Postgraduate Medical Journal
The team found that 37 patients were admitted with recurrent symptoms and complications while awaiting surgery.

There were 47 episodes of admissions in total: 32 for biliary colic, 13 for acute cholecystitis, and 2 for acute pancreatitis.

In addition to routine blood tests, 20 abdominal and 10 chest radiographs, 3 ERCP tests, 5 ultrasonograms, and 1 computed tomogram, were performed in these patients.

The researchers found that the average hospital stay for each episode was 3 days.

The cost of treatment per episode was £946.

The total cost of treating the 37 patients was £44,462.

Emergency admission with gallstone related problems is common among patients awaiting elective surgery. The cost of treating these patients is high.

Dr Somasekar's team concluded, "Performing early laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis may help reduce costs by preventing recurrent emergency admissions in these patients".

"Further studies to identify risk factors associated with recurrent symptoms and complications in patients with gallstone disease may help to prioritize them for early surgery".

Postgrad Med J 2002; 78: 668-70
17 December 2002

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