A nationwide examination of outcomes of percutaneous cholecystostomy compared with cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis, 1998-2010

Jamie E. Anderson, David C. Chang, Mark A. Talamini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background: Improvements in percutaneous drainage techniques combined with the recognized advantages of avoiding surgery in critically ill patients have rendered cholecystostomy an attractive treatment option, particularly in those patients with acute acalculus cholecystitis. However, robust data to guide surgeons in choosing cholecystostomy versus cholecystectomy have been lacking. Methods: Retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database from 1998-2010 was performed. Patients identified as having acute cholecystitis (calculus and acalculus) were identified by ICD-9 diagnosis codes and further classified as having undergone cholecystostomy or cholecystectomy. Patients with both procedures were included in the cholecystectomy group. Patients with neither procedure and those younger than age 18 years were excluded. Multivariate analyses examined mortality, length of stay, total charges, gallbladder/gastrointestinal complications, or any complication. Results were adjusted for age, race, gender, Charlson comorbidity index, and teaching-hospital status. Subset analyses were performed among patients who survived and patients who died. Results: A total of 248,229 calculus and 58,518 acalculus acute cholecystitis patients were analyzed. On unadjusted analysis, mortality, length of stay, and total charges were higher, but complication rates were lower, in patients with a cholecystostomy. Adjusted analysis showed lower odds of complications [calculus: odds ratio (OR) 0.3, p < 0.001; acalculus: OR 0.4, p < 0.001] but higher odds of mortality, total charges, and LOS (calculus: mortality OR 5.2, p < 0.001, $29,113, p < 0.001, +5.1 days, p < 0.001; acalculus: mortality OR 3.7, p < 0.001; $43,771, p < 0.001, +6.2 days, p < 0.001) among patients who received cholecystostomy. Results were similar in subset analyses. Conclusions: Patients receiving cholecystostomy were more likely to be older and have more comorbidities. Among patients with calculus or acalculus cholecystitis, patients with cholecystostomy had decreased complication rates compared with patients with cholecystectomy. However, patients who received cholecystostomy had increased odds of death, longer length of stay, and higher total charges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3406-3411
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Cholecystectomy
  • Cholecystitis
  • Cholecystostomy
  • Surgical outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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