Objective: To find out the incidence of cholecystectomy and of reintervention after cholecystectomy in Sweden 1987 to 1995, and to compare mortality and reintervention after simple laparoscopic and conventional open cholecystectomy (without exploration of the common bile duct or simultaneous operation).
Design: Analysis of data from Swedish national registers.
Setting: Two hospitals and government department, Sweden.
Main outcome measures: Mortality and reintervention during readmission within one year after cholecystectomy classified as: reoperation on bile duct, endoscopic or percutaneous reintervention, or reoperation for wound complication, bleeding, or unspecified cause.
Results: Incidence of cholecystectomy rose between 1987-89 and 1993-95 from 0.97 to 1.04 for men and from 1.70 to 2.05 operations/1000 inhabitants for women. Reoperation on the bile ducts declined from 1987 to 1991 but returned to previous levels thereafter. Endoscopic reinterventions increased tenfold from 1987 to 1995, whereas those for general complications and mortality did not change significantly. Among simple cholecystectomies laparoscopic surgery was associated with an increased risk of endoscopic reintervention, odds ratio 1.8 (95% CI 1.2 to 2.6), and with a lower risk for postoperative mortality, odds ratio 0.5 (95% CI 0.3 to 0.8).
Conclusions: Incidence, mortality, and readmission with reintervention are important endpoints in gallbladder surgery. Significant changes in these variables were identified after the introduction of laparoscopic cholecystectomy.