Open Cholecystostomy Under Local Anesthesia for Acute Cholecystitis in the Elderly and High-Risk Surgical Patients

Eliza M. Slama, Motahar Hosseini, Ryan M. Staszak, Viney R. Setya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The morbidity and mortality rates associated with cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis are higher in the critically ill elderly population. As an alternative to cholecystectomy, we report the results of treatment of acute cholecystitis in the elderly after open cholecystolithotomy with cholecystostomy tube placement under local anesthesia. Methods: A case series was performed on 5 patients from August 2007 to April 2010 who presented with acute cholecystitis and underwent an open cholecystolithotomy and tube placement. Thirty-day mortality, intra- and immediate-postoperative complications, clinical improvement after drainage, additional biliary procedures needed, and outcome after cholecystostomy tube removal were recorded. Results: Open cholecystolithotomy and tube placement were performed successfully in all patients and permitted resolution of the acute attack in all after a mean period of 3.75 days. Thirty-day mortality was 0%. Patients did not experience any intraoperative complications. We observed 100% rate of successful short-term outcomes in our patients including resolution pain, and objectively, normalization of leukocytosis, and defervescence. None of the patients required emergency cholecystectomy. All patients had their cholecystostomy tubes removed at a mean postoperative day 27. There were no cases of biliary leakage or tube dislodgement. There were no recurrences of acute cholecystitis within the mean follow-up of 20.75 months. Discussion: Emergency open cholecystolithotomy and cholecystostomy tube placement represent an effective, safe, and definitive alternative treatment strategy for acute gallstone cholecystitis in selected elderly patients with a mortality rate of 0% in the authors’ experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-438
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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