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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Open cholecystectomy for all patients in the era of laparoscopic surgery – a prospective cohort study

Jonas Leo1, Goran Filipovic1, Julia Krementsova1, Rickard Norblad1, Mattias Söderholm1 and Erik Nilsson12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, Kirurgkliniken i Östergötland, Motala Hospital, Motala, Sweden

2 Department of Surgery University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden

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BMC Surgery 2006, 6:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-6-5

Published: 3 April 2006



Open cholecystectomy through a small incision is an alternative to laparoscopic cholecystectomy.


From 1 January 2002 through 31 December 2003, all operations upon the gallbladder in a district hospital with emergency admission and responsibility for surgical training were done as intended small-incision open cholecystectomy.


182 women and 90 men with a median age of 56 (interquartile range 45 to 68 years) underwent cholecystectomy for symptomatic gallbladder disease, 170 as elective and 102 as emergency cases. Trainee surgeons assisted by consultants or registrars having passed an examination for open cholecystectomy performed surgery in 194 cases (71%). The common bile duct was explored in 52 patients. Total postoperative morbidity was six percent. Median postoperative stay was one day and mean total (pre- and postoperative) hospital stay 3.1 days. 32 operations (12%) were done as day surgery procedures. Nationally in Sweden in 2002, mean total hospital stay was 4.4 days, and 13% of all cholecystectomies were performed on an outpatient basis.


Open, small-incision cholecystectomy for all patients is compatible with short hospital stay, evidence-based gall-bladder surgery, and training of surgical residents.