Breaking Barriers to Successful Implementation of Day Case Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy.
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Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a common procedure performed in both emergency and elective settings. Our aim was to analyse the trends in laparoscopic surgery in Ireland in the public and private healthcare systems. In particular we studied the trend in day case laparoscopic cholecystectomy. National HIPE data for the years 2010-2012 was obtained. Similar datasets were obtained from the three main health insurers. 19,214 laparoscopic cholecystectomies were carried out in Ireland over the 3-year period. More procedures were performed in the public system than the private system from 2010-2012. There was a steady increase in surgeries performed in the public sector, while the private sector remained static. Although the ALOS was significantly higher in the public sector, there was an increase in the rate of day case procedures from 416 (13%) to 762 (21.9%). The day case rates in private hospitals increased only slightly from 29 (5.1%) in 2010 to 40 (5.9%) in 2012. Day case laparoscopic cholecystectomy has been shown to be a safe procedure, however significant barriers remain in place to the implementation of successful day case units nationwide.