Role of cholecystostomy in the management of critically ill patients suffering from acute cholecystitis

E. Winkler*, O. Kaplan, M. Gutman, Y. Skornick, R. R. Rozin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Between the years 1976 and 1985, 60 patients underwent cholecystostomy for acute cholecystitis in the surgical department of the Rokach hospital in Tel Aviv. The patients' average age was 73 years; 78 per cent were 70 years or older at the time of operation. The decision to perform cholecystostomy was taken before the operation which was performed as an emergency procedure for patients considered to be at high risk for cholecystectomy. Forty‐six patients (77 per cent) had severe concomitant diseases, and 42 per cent of them had two or more associated diseases simultaneously. The cardiac risk index was high in most patients (90 per cent). Fifty‐two patients recovered promptly after surgery. Five patients (8 per cent) developed significant postoperative complications. Three other patients (5 per cent) died of cardiovascular complications. Forty‐two patients (70 per cent) underwent an elective cholecystectomy 6–8 weeks later with no further morbidity or mortality. Eleven patients who were at high risk had no further surgery. No residual stones were found in these patients and no relapse of the disease was recorded in the long term follow‐up. Four patients were lost to follow‐up. We conclude that cholecystostomy may still be used as an initial life saving procedure for critically ill patients with acute cholecystitis, and serves as a definitive procedure for patients considered to be at very high operative risk and who have no residual stones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-695
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1989


  • Acute cholecystitis
  • cholecystostomy
  • surgical treatment


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