Is nighttime the right time? Risk of complications after laparoscopic cholecystectomy at night

Uma R. Phatak, Winston M. Chan, Debbie F. Lew, Richard J. Escamilla, Tien C. Ko, Curtis J. Wray, Lillian S. Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background Laparoscopic cholecystectomies can be performed at night in high-volume acute care hospitals. We hypothesized that nonelective nighttime laparoscopic cholecystectomies are associated with increased postoperative complications.

Study Design We conducted a single-center retrospective review of consecutive laparoscopic cholecystectomy patients between October 2010 and May 2011 at a safety-net hospital in Houston, Texas. Data were collected on demographics, operative time, time of incision, length of stay, 30-day postoperative complications (ie, bile leak/biloma, common bile duct injury, retained stone, superficial surgical site infection, organ space abscess, and bleeding) and death. Statistical analyses were performed using STATA software (version 12; Stata Corp).

Results During 8 months, 356 patients had nonelective laparoscopic cholecystectomies. A majority were female (n = 289 [81.1%]) and Hispanic (n = 299 [84%]). There were 108 (30%) nighttime operations. There were 29 complications in 18 patients; there were fewer daytime than nighttime patients who had at least 1 complication (4.0% vs 7.4%; p = 0.18). On multivariate analysis, age (odds ratio = 1.06 per year; 95% CI, 1.02-1.10; p = 0.002), case duration (odds ratio = 1.02 per minute; 95% CI, 1.01-1.02; p = 0.001), and nighttime surgery (odds ratio = 3.33; 95% CI, 1.14-9.74; p = 0.001) were associated with an increased risk of 30-day surgical complications. Length of stay was significantly longer for daytime than nighttime patients (median 3 vs 2 days; p < 0.001).

Conclusions Age, case duration, and nighttime laparoscopic cholecystectomy were predictive of increased 30-day surgical complications at a high-volume safety-net hospital. The small but increased risk of complications with nighttime laparoscopic cholecystectomy must be balanced against improved efficiency at a high-volume, resource-poor hospital.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-724
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Is nighttime the right time? Risk of complications after laparoscopic cholecystectomy at night'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this