Cholecystectomy with and without drainage.
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The authors studied the effect of intraoperative drainage, presence of postoperative pyrexia, influence of appendectomy, chest complications and wound infection in 200 patients who had undergone routine uncomplicated cholecystectomy. One hundred patients in whom no drain was inserted were matched with 100 patients whose cholecystectomies, performed during the same period, included placement of a drain. There were 10 males and 90 females in each group; the mean age was 40.5 years in the undrained group and 40.4 years in the drained group. There was a significantly (P less than 0.05) higher frequency of chest complications, longer hospital stay and pronounced postoperative pyrexia (P less than 0.003) in the group with drainage. The rate of wound infection was substantially increased in both groups by adding appendectomy to the procedure, particularly if drains were not used. It is evident that the routine placement of a drain in an uncomplicated cholecystectomy is unnecessary and may even be harmful.
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