BackgroundLaparoscopic cholecystectomy is a safe ambulatory procedure in appropriately selected patients; however, day case rates remain low. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to identify interventions which are effective in reducing the length of stay (LOS) or improving the day case rate for elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
MethodsComparative English-language studies describing perioperative interventions applicable to elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy in adult patients and their impact on LOS or day case rate were included.
ResultsQuantitative data were available for meta-analysis from 80 studies of 10,615 patients. There were an additional 17 studies included for systematic review. The included studies evaluated 14 peri-operative interventions. Implementation of a formal day case care pathway was associated with a significantly shorter LOS (MD = 24.9 h, 95% CI, 18.7-31.2, p < 0.001) and an improved day case rate (OR = 3.5; 95% CI, 1.5-8.1, p = 0.005). Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, dexamethasone and prophylactic antibiotics were associated with smaller reductions in LOS.
ConclusionCare pathway implementation demonstrated a significant impact on LOS and day case rates. A limited effect was noted for smaller independent interventions. In order to achieve optimal day case targets, a greater understanding of the effective elements of a care pathway and local barriers to implementation is required.
SUBMITTER: Ryan JM