Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: 'superior' for high-risk patients

Trial shows surgery is safer than drainage

High-risk patients with acute cholecystitis may have fewer major complications if they undergo a laparoscopic cholecystectomy rather than percutaneous catheter drainage of the gall bladder, a study shows.

The randomised controlled trial was the first to compare the two procedures in patients with acute calculous cholecystitis.

Some 140 high-risk patients - with acute physiological assessment and chronic health evaluation (APACHE- II) scores between 7 and 14 - were randomly assigned to one of the two procedures for the trial, which took place in 11 Dutch hospitals