Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy as a "True" Outpatient Procedure: Initial Experience in 130 Consecutive Patients

Keith D. Lillemoe, John W. Lin, Mark A. Talamini, Charles J. Yeo, Douglas S. Snyder, Stephen D. Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has received nearly universal acceptance and is currently considered the "gold standard" for the treatment of cholelithiasis. Many centers have employed "short-stay" units or "23-hour admissions" for postoperative observation following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The practice of early discharge as "true" outpatients following this procedure has not been well defined. A retrospective analysis of 130 consecutive patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy in an outpatient surgery unit was performed. A follow-up telephone survey was carried out of patients who successfully completed the procedure as outpatients. One hundred thirty patients underwent outpatient laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The patient population consisted of 78% women, with an age range of 17 to 76 years (mean age 47.1 years). Symptomatic gallstone disease was the indication for laparoscopic cholecystectomy in 92 % of the patients. All patients underwent successful completion of laparoscopic cholecystectomy with no conversions to an open procedure. The mean length of operation was 75 ± 23 minutes (range 25 to 147 minutes). The mean length of stay in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) ranged from 95 to 460 minutes with a mean length of stay of 200 ± 79 minutes. A total of eight patients (6.2%) were admitted to the hospital directly from the PACU in the immediate postoperative period. Six of these eight patients were discharged on the first postoperative day. Following discharge from the PACU, an additional six patients (4.6%) required hospital admission. Three of these six patients were discharged after a single day of hospitalisation. Ninety-eight of 116 eligible patients were available for follow-up telephone evaluation. The outpatient experience was rated as good by 75.5% of the patients, fair by 22.5%, and poor by 2%. In retrospect, 20.4% of the patients stated that they would have preferred an inpatient to an outpatient procedure. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed as a true outpatient procedure with patients discharged to home within hours of completion of the procedure. Less man 10% of patients will fail this protocol and another 5% of the patients may require hospitalization after returning to their homes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-49
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Gallstones
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy
  • Outpatient surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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