Background: Previous studies comparing early laparoscopic cholecystectomy (ELC) with delayed laparoscopic cholecystectomy (DLC) for acute cholecystitis were incomplete. A meta-analysis was undertaken to compare the cost-effectiveness, quality of life, safety and effectiveness of ELC versus DLC.
Methods: PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library and Web of Science were searched for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that compared ELC (performed within 7 days of symptom onset) with DLC (undertaken at least 1 week after symptoms had subsided) for acute cholecystitis.
Results: Sixteen studies reporting on 15 RCTs comprising 1625 patients were included. Compared with DLC, ELC was associated with lower hospital costs, fewer work days lost (mean difference (MD) -11·07 (95 per cent c.i. -16·21 to -5·94) days; P < 0·001), higher patient satisfaction and quality of life, lower risk of wound infection (relative risk 0·65, 95 per cent c.i. 0·47 to 0·91; P = 0·01) and shorter hospital stay (MD -3·38 (-4·23 to -2·52) days; P < 0·001), but a longer duration of operation (MD 11·12 (4·57 to 17·67) min; P < 0·001). There were no significant differences between the two groups in mortality, bile duct injury, bile leakage, conversion to open cholecystectomy or overall complications.
Conclusion: For patients with acute cholecystitis, ELC appears as safe and effective as DLC. ELC might be associated with lower hospital costs, fewer work days lost, and greater patient satisfaction.
© 2015 BJS Society Ltd Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.