Patients with mild gallstone pancreatitis can undergo surgery sooner, shortening hospital stays

Feb 04, 2010

Patients with mild gallstone pancreatitis usually stay in the hospital for several days, waiting for the symptoms to subside, before undergoing surgery to remedy the condition. A new study from researchers at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) indicates patients may no longer have to wait so long for surgery and could leave the hospital sooner.

The study, slated for publication in the Annals of Surgery in April, found surgeons could safely operate on patients with mild gallstone pancreatitis within 48 hours of admission, rather than waiting for the painful inflammation in the pancreas to subside before performing the surgery.

"In the study, patients with mild pancreatitis, who underwent surgery within two days of admission, left the hospital sooner and had similar favorable outcomes as those patients who waited several days before surgery," said Christian de Virgilio, MD, a LA BioMed principal investigator and the corresponding author for the study. "The common practice of delaying surgery on patients with mild gallstone pancreatitis should be abandoned because it results in longer and more costly hospital stays."

Mild gallstone pancreatitis is caused by a gallstone or gallstones in the common bile duct triggering a backup in the pancreas of the and hormones it produces to help the body digest food and convert glucose to energy.

The standard treatment is laparoscopic surgery to remove the , which produces the . In the study reported in the , surgeons removed the gall bladders of 25 patients with mild gallstone pancreatitis within 48 hours of admission and operated on 24 other patients after lab tests and physical examinations found their enzyme levels had normalized. (One patient was excluded from the study after developing other unrelated medical complications.)

The researchers found operating on the patients within 48 hours of admission decreased the overall length of hospital stays from four to three days when compared with the patients who waited for the symptoms to subside before undergoing .

"Operating within 48 hours of admission is ideally suited to patients with mild gallstone pancreatitis who don't demonstrate evidence of cholangitis, a bacterial infection, and don't require aggressive fluid resuscitation," said Dr. de Virgilio.

Explore further: New research demonstrates benefits of national and international device registries

More information: journals.lww.com/annalsofsurgery/toc/publishahead.

Provided by UCLA Medical Center

4 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Smokers may have increased risk of pancreatitis

Mar 23, 2009

Smoking appears to be associated with an increased risk of acute and chronic pancreatitis, according to a report in the March 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. In addition, the risk of developing the disease may be ...

Nasal surgery helps transsexuals

Sep 20, 2007

British scientists say transsexuals undergoing male-to-female gender reassignment report satisfaction with surgery to create a more feminine-appearing nose.

Recommended for you

New approach to particle therapy dosimetry

Dec 19, 2014

Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in collaboration with EMRP partners, are working towards a universal approach to particle beam therapy dosimetry.

Supplement maker admits lying about ingredients

Dec 17, 2014

Federal prosecutors say the owner and president of a dietary supplement company has admitted his role in the sale of diluted and adulterated dietary ingredients and supplements sold by his company.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.