Fast-Track Nonelective Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is Safe and Feasible

Lucas Fair*, John J. Squiers, Kimberly Jacinto, Matthew Perryman, Jennifer Misenhimer, Somer Blair, Carlos Rodriguez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Ample evidence exists to support the safety of fast-track discharge after elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC), but there is currently no data available to support the safety of fast-tracking patients undergoing nonelective LC. We sought to determine whether fast-tracking patients undergoing nonelective LC is safe and feasible. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort review of 661 consecutive patients undergoing LC at a single teaching institution from April 2018 to January 2020. Subjects were divided into two groups: elective LC (ELC) and fast-track nonelective LC (FTLC). FTLC was defined as nonelective LC with total length of stay <36 h. Patients undergoing nonelective LC with length of stay exceeding 36 h were excluded. The primary outcome of interest was readmission within 30 d. The secondary outcomes included incidences of return to emergency department within 30 d, retained stone, bile leak, and wound infection. Results: Of 661 LC, 185 (27%) were ELC and 476 (72%) were nonelective. FTLC included 121 (25%) of the nonelective LC. Preoperative characteristics were similar among the groups. On final pathology, chronic cholecystitis was predominant in both groups, but FTLC exhibited higher rates of acute cholecystitis (P < 0.0001). There was no significant difference in the primary outcome among groups: readmission within 30 d occurred in 6 (3%) ELC patients and 4 (3%) FTLC patients (P = 1.0). There were no significant differences in rates of return to emergency department within 30 d, retained stone, bile leak, or wound infection. Conclusions: With comparable postoperative complication rates to ELC, FTLC can be safely used in select patients. Additional studies are needed to determine preoperative predictors of FTLC suitability to prospectively identify appropriate patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-263
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute care surgery
  • Fast-track surgery
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy


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