Risk factors for developing complications while awaiting a cholecystectomy

Jessica Suarez, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is the gold standard for patients who are diagnosed with biliary colic (NIH, 1993). It has been demonstrated that individuals who wait a longer time between diagnosis and treatment are at increased risk of having complications (Rutledge et al., 2000; Contini et al., 2004; Eldar et al., 1999). County hospitals, such as Ben Taub General Hospital (BTGH), have a particularly high population of uninsured patients and consequently long surgical wait periods due to limited resources. This study evaluates patients the risk factors involved in their progression to complications from gallstones in a county hospital environment. Methods. A case-control study using medical records was performed on all patients who underwent a cholecystectomy for gallstone disease at BTGH during the year of 2005 (n=414). The risk factors included in the study are obesity, gender, age, race, diabetes, and amount of time from diagnosis to surgery. Multivariate analysis and logistical regression were used to assess factors that potentially lead to the development of complications. Results. There were a total of 414 patients at BTGH who underwent a cholecystectomy for gallstone disease during 2005. The majority of patients were female, 84.3% (n=349) and Hispanic, 79.7% (n=330). The median wait time from diagnosis to surgery was 1.43 weeks (range: 0-184.71). The majority of patients presented with complications 72.5% (n=112). The two factors that impacted development of complications in our study population were Hispanic race (OR=1.81; CI 1.02, 3.23; p=0.04) and time from diagnosis to surgery (OR=0.98; CI 0.97, 0.99; p<0.01). Obesity, gender, age, and diabetes were not predictive of development of complications. Conclusions. An individual's socioeconomic status potentially influences all aspects of their health and subsequent health care. The patient population of BTGH is largely uninsured and therefore less likely to seek care at an early stage in their disease process. In order to decrease the rate of complications, there needs to be a system that increases patient access to primary care clinics. Until the problem of access to care is solved, those who are uninsured will likely suffer more severe complications and society will bear the cost.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Suarez, Jessica, "Risk factors for developing complications while awaiting a cholecystectomy" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1445121.