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Cost Effectiveness of a Fast-Track Protocol for Urgent Laparoscopic Cholecystectomies and Appendectomies. World J Surg 2016 Apr;40(4):856-62



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84959529489   19 Citations


BACKGROUND: Fast-track protocols (FTPs) are used to decrease length of stay (LOS) and hospital costs for elective outpatient procedures. Few institutions have implemented FTP for urgent procedures such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) and laparoscopic appendectomy (LA).

STUDY DESIGN: This is a retrospective single-institution cohort study including all patients undergoing urgent LC or LA between July 1, 2010 and May 1, 2013. Exclusion criteria included conversion to open procedure, perforated appendicitis, or procedure related to intra-abdominal injury. Analysis included a comparison of the three study groups: (1) before (PRE) and after (POST) implementation of the fast-track protocol (FTP), (2) fast-track cohort (FT) and non-fast-track cohort (NFT), and (3) those completing the fast-track pathway (FT-C) and those who began but failed to complete the pathway (FT-F).

RESULTS: There were significant reductions in LOS between all study groups compared: between PRE (n = 256) and POST (n = 472) cohorts by half a day (2.0 vs. 1.5 days, p < 0.02); between FT and NFT (0.68 vs. 1.82 days, p < 0.01); and FT-C and FT-F (0.49 vs. 1.05 days, p < 0.01). Total hospital charges were significantly reduced in FT compared with NFT ($22,347 vs. $30,868, p < 0.01) with an average savings of $8521. Total hospital charges were decreased in the FT-C compared with FT-F cohorts ($21,971 vs. $22,939, p = 0.3) with an average savings of $968. Readmissions, complications, and satisfaction were similar for all comparison groups.

CONCLUSIONS: FTPs for urgent appendectomies and cholecystectomies can significantly reduce hospital costs by reducing LOS without compromising patient outcomes.

Author List

Trevino CM, Katchko KM, Verhaalen AL, Bruce ML, Webb TP


Colleen Trevino PhD Assistant Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Travis P. Webb MD, MHPE Associate Dean, Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic
Cholecystitis, Acute
Clinical Protocols
Cohort Studies
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Historically Controlled Study
Hospital Charges
Hospital Costs
Length of Stay
Retrospective Studies
United States