Variations in consenting practice for laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2006 Sep;88(5):482-5. doi: 10.1308/003588406X114857.


Introduction: To compare the variations in consenting practice amongst trainees and consultant surgeons for laparoscopic cholecystectomy with specific reference to the documentation of significant risks of surgery.

Patients and methods: A proforma was devised which included significant and/or commonly recognised complications of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This was then cross-referenced with the consent forms for the 80 patients included in the study and the documented risks explained in each case were noted.

Results: The results showed that there is considerable variation between the three grades of clinicians involved in obtaining a patient's consent for laparoscopic cholecystectomy. There was a clear difference in emphasis of the significant complications depending on the seniority of the consenter. Over 80% of the consents in this study were still being obtained by junior staff.

Conclusions: More often than not, patients are not provided with consistent information to make an informed choice. We suggest that a preprinted consent form will provide a more uniform approach to consenting practice for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic*
  • Consent Forms / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Consent Forms / standards
  • Consultants
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Informed Consent / standards*
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • London
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / standards*
  • Patient Education as Topic / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Professional Practice / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Professional Practice / standards*
  • Retrospective Studies