BACKGROUND: An increase in the frequency of cholecystectomy in children has been described during the last decades. Part of the reason is that more cholecystectomies in children are performed for dyskinesia of the gallbladder and not only for gallstone disease. We conducted the first nationwide study to describe outcome of cholecystectomies performed in children in Denmark by using data from the national Danish Cholecystectomy Database (DCD). METHODS: In the DCD, two data sources were combined: administrative data from the National Patient Registry (NPR) and clinical data entered into the secure Web site by the surgeon immediately after the operation. In the present analysis, we have included children ≤ 15 years from the five year period January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2010. RESULTS: In the study period 35,444 patients were operated with a cholecystectomy. Of these, 196 (0.5%) were ≤ 15 years. The median age was 14 years, and 82% were girls. Predisposing medical factors for gallstones (despite obesity) were found in only 5%. More than 50% were overweight, and one third were obese. Ninety-seven percent of the operations were completed laparoscopically, and the conversion rate was 0. 5%. Nearly half of the operations (45%) were performed as same day surgery, and 80% of the children stayed in hospital 0-1 day without readmission. 91% were discharged within 3 days and not readmitted. Morbidity was low, and no bile duct lesions occurred. The 30 day mortality was zero. CONCLUSION: Our nationwide outcome results indicate good quality with 91% of the patients discharged within 3 days without readmission, no bile duct injuries, and no mortality. All patients except two were operated for symptomatic gallstone disease in accordance to the Danish national guidelines. We have not experienced a demand or a need to expand the indications for cholecystectomy beyond gallstone disease.
Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 2014, Vol 49, Issue 4, p. 626-30