Users Online : 7901 About us |  Subscribe |  e-Alerts  | Feedback | Login   |   
Journal of Minimal Access Surgery Current Issue | Archives | Ahead Of Print Journal of Minimal Access Surgery
           Print this page Email this page   Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size 
 ¤   Similar in PUBMED
 ¤  Search Pubmed for
 ¤  Search in Google Scholar for
 ¤Related articles
 ¤   Article in PDF (226 KB)
 ¤   Citation Manager
 ¤   Access Statistics
 ¤   Reader Comments
 ¤   Email Alert *
 ¤   Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

 ¤  Abstract
 ¤ Introduction
 ¤  Materials and Me...
 ¤ Results
 ¤ Discussion
 ¤  References
 ¤  Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded234    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 6    

Recommend this journal


 Table of Contents     
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 90-92

Laparoscopic elective cholecystectomy with and without drain: A controlled randomised trial

1 Department of General Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt
2 Department of General Surgery, Port- fouad General Hospital Port-saied, Egypt
3 Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt

Date of Submission03-Jan-2011
Date of Acceptance09-Jun-2011
Date of Web Publication29-Jun-2012

Correspondence Address:
Gouda El-labban
Department of General Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9941.97591

Rights and Permissions

 ¤ Abstract 

Background : Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the main method of treatment of symptomatic gallstones. Routine drainage after laparoscopic cholecystectomy is an issue of considerable debate. Therefore, a controlled randomised trial was designed to assess the value of drains in elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Materials and Methods: During a two-year period (From April 2008 to January 2010), 80 patients were simply randomised to have a drain placed (group A), an 8-mm pentose tube drain was retained below the liver bed, whereas 80 patients were randomised not to have a drain (group B) placed in the subhepatic space. End points of this trial were to detect any differences in morbidity, postoperative pain, wound infection and hospital stay between the two groups. Results : There was no mortality in either group and no statistically significant difference in postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting, wound infection or abdominal collection between the two groups. However, hospital stay was longer in the drain group than in group without drain and it is appearing that the use of drain delays hospital discharge. Conclusion : The routine use of a drain in non-complicated laparoscopic cholecystectomy has nothing to offer; in contrast, it is associated with longer hospital stay.

Keywords: Cholecystectomy, drain, hospital stay, laparoscopy, postoperative pain, wound infection

How to cite this article:
El-labban G, Hokkam E, El-labban M, Saber A, Heissam K, El-Kammash S. Laparoscopic elective cholecystectomy with and without drain: A controlled randomised trial. J Min Access Surg 2012;8:90-2

How to cite this URL:
El-labban G, Hokkam E, El-labban M, Saber A, Heissam K, El-Kammash S. Laparoscopic elective cholecystectomy with and without drain: A controlled randomised trial. J Min Access Surg [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 Jan 19];8:90-2. Available from:

 ¤ Introduction Top

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy provides a safe and effective treatment for patients with gallstones [1] as it reduces post-operative pain with almost inadvisable scar, short hospital stay and earlier return to work. [2]

On the other side, many patients complain of abdominal pain, shoulder tip pain, and nausea/vomiting post-operatively. [3] High pressure pneumoperitoneum using carbon dioxide gas was accused for those complications. [4] Thus, a drainage tube is inserted. [5] The value of surgical drainage in open cholecystectomy is an issue that is not resolved till now. [6] The same in laparoscopic cholecystectomy, where the lack of evidence on usefulness of drain is present. Again surgeons keep being divided among those placing a drain selectively, and those who never place a drain, based on their personal experience, beliefs, or bias. [7]

Therefore, this controlled randomised comparative study was designed to assess the value of drain in uncomplicated laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

 ¤ Materials and Methods Top

From April 2008 to January 2010, all American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) I, II, and III patients admitted to undergo elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy were eligible to enter the study provided that they were > 70 years old, (a) they did not have acute cholecystitis, cholangitis, or pancreatitis; (b) they did not have any contraindication for the laparoscopic approach; and (c) they did not require common bile duct exploration or any other additional procedure. Patients with previous episode(s) of acute cholecystitis, cholangitis, or pancreatitis in their history were not excluded. However, patients who refused to enter the study, converted to open surgery, with chronic liver disease or bleeding tendency, were excluded.

One hundred and sixty patients were simply randomised blindly before surgical procedure into two groups. Group A of 80 patients received a gravity drain in gall bladder bed, and Group B of 80 patients received no drain.). Although entrance into the trial was decided before surgery, the randomisation arm was only notified to the operating team after the completion of cholecystectomy and just before closure of the wounds using sealed envelopes in blocks of 20. Informed consent was obtained from all patients and were told that there is a possibility to be converted to open surgery (if there is a difficulty in laparoscopic procedure, and the trial protocol was approved by the institutional Ethics Committee. The procedure was performed or supervised by the same surgeon's team in Suez Canal University Hospital.

All patients were given a single use of antibiotic prophylaxis (cefuroxime 750 mg) intravenously, and postoperative analgesia (Diclofenac sodium 75 mg) intramuscularly. Postoperative pain assessment was performed using a visual analog scale (VAS) with which each patient noted the severity of pain, using a linear scale between zero (no pain) and 10 (strongest conceivable pain). Abdominal drainage was assessed in terms of quantity and quality of drainage.

Post operative complications such as post operative nausea and vomiting, perihepatic collection, bleeding, wound infection were assessed. All deaths were recorded whether related to laparoscopic procedure or its complications.

Abdominal ultrasonography was done only to patients suspected to have collection (if they have persistent shoulder pain, fever, elevated leucocytic count, persistent vomiting).

Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 15 for windows. Mean and standard deviation were estimated for each continuous variable. Independent t-test was used for detection of difference between the two means. Differences were considered significant when P >0.05. Witten informed consent was obtained from all patients and the trial protocol was approved by the Local Ethical Committee.

 ¤ Results Top

The age range of Groups A and B patients were from 20 to 62 years. Most of them were females (male/female ratio: 24/56 and 20/60) in Groups A and B respectively. The average operative time in the drain group was longer than that of the no drain group (30.8 min versus 25.5 min, respectively). The same for hospital stay, as [Table 1] shows that the range in Group A was between 1 and 3 days and 1-2 days in Group B. No mortality was observed whether from the procedure or any of its complications.
Table 1: Socio-demographic and peri-operative characteristics of both groups

Click here to view

Post-operative pain was assessed using VAS and showed no significant differences between the two groups at 24, 48 h and one week later.

Twenty six patients in Group A and twenty patients in Group B complained of nausea and vomiting. That showed no significant differences between them.

The only post-operative significant complication found was wound infection. Fifteen patients representing 8.75% of Group A had wound infection compared by 4 patients representing 5% of Group B.

Six cases of abdominal collection occurred in Group A in contrast to two cases in Group A; all of those patients responded to conservative management, with no significant difference [Table 2].
Table 2: Details on morbidity of both groups

Click here to view

 ¤ Discussion Top

0When Lamgenebuch performed the first cholecystectomy in 1882, he placed a peritoneal drain as a part of the procedure. The routine placement of drains becomes a part of operation for a long period of time. However, controversy has surrounded this practice in elective conventional cholecystectomies, with most surgeons departing from this approach. Surgeons have routinely drained after laparoscopic cholecystectomy because of the fear of collection of bile or blood requiring open procedures. [8] Another reason for draining is to allow CO 2 insufflated during laparoscopy to escape via the drain site, thereby decreasing the shoulder pain. [5],[8] A higher proportion of patients with nausea and vomiting has also been noted [9] and these complications are less in gasless laparoscopic cholecystectomy. [10] Studies have shown higher wound infection rate [11] and longer hospital stay in the drain group. [12]

In the present study, the average operative time in the drain group was 30.8 min and 25.5 min in the no drain group but these results show no significant differences.

Hospital stay in drain group ranged from 1 to 3 days and the majority of cases were discharged on the second day, while it ranged from 1 to 2 days and the majority of cases were discharged on the first day in the no-drain group. That showed significant differences. Gurusamy et al., [13] and Satinsky with his associates [14] have also reported significant differences with longer hospital stay in drained patients.

Hawasli and Brown [15] found that there were minor but not statistically significant differences between drain group and non drain group in terms of postoperative severity and duration of the abdominal pain and shoulder pain. Also, in this study, postoperative pain was assessed using VAS and there was no significant difference. However, Kazuhisa et al., [16] found that the mean VAS scores were significantly greater in drain group than in non drain group at 24 and 48 h especially in women. On the contrary, Tzovaras et al., [17] suggested that the routine use of a drain in elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy has nothing to offer and it is associated with increased pain. Gurusamy et al., [13] and Tarik et al., [ 14] reports showed no significant differences in post operative nausea and vomiting between drain and no drain groups. The same was reported in this study also, as 26 patients were complaining in Group A (32.5%) and 20 patients in Group B (25%).

Wound infection occurred in 15 patients of drain group (18.75%) versus 4 patients in no drain group (5%) and that showed significant difference in consistent with the study of Gurusamy et al. [13] All cases responded well to oral antibiotics. However, Hawasli and Brown [15] and Playforth with his team [18] reported that no significant differences were present regarding wound infection in their trials.

 ¤ References Top

1.Dubois F. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the French technique. In: Phillips EH, Rosenthal RJ, editors. Operative strategies in laparoscopic surgery. Berlin, Heidel-Bery and New York; 1995. p. 30-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Talamini MA, Gadacz TR. Laparscopic equipment and instrument. In: Zucker KA, Baily RW, Reddick EJ, editors. Surgical Laparoscopy. Missouri: Quality Medical Publishing Inc., St. Louis; 1991. p. 45-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Sarli L, Costi R, Sansebastiano G, Trivelli M, Roncoroni L. Prospective randomized trial of low-pressure pneumoperitoneum for reduction of shoulder-tip pain following laparoscopy. Br J Surg 2000;87:1161-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Perrakis E, Vezakis A, Velimezis G, Savanis G, Deverakis S, Antoniades J, et al. Randomized comparison between different insufflation pressures for laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech 2003;13:245-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Abbott J, Hawe J, Srivastava P, Hunter D, Garry R. Intraperitoneal gas drain to reduce pain after laparoscopy: Randomized masked trial. Obstet Gynecol 2001;98:97-100.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Lewis RT, Goodall RG, Marien B, Park M, Lloyd-Smith W, Wiegand FM. Simple elective cholecystectomy: To drain or not. Am J Surg 1990;159:241-5.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Askew JA. Survey of current surgical treatment of gall stones in Queensland. Aust NZJ Surg 2005;75:1086-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Hawasli A, Brown E. The effect of drains in laparoscopic cholecystectomy. J Laparoendosc Surg 1994;4:393-8  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Nursal TZ, Yildirim S, Tarim A, Noyan T, Poyraz P, Tuna N, et al. Effect of drainage on postoperative nausea, vomiting, and pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Langenbecks Arch Surg 2003;388:95-100.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Lindgren L, Koivusalo AM, Kellokumpu I. Conventional pneumoperitoneum compared with abdominal wall lift for laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Br J Anaesth 1995;75:567-72.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Thiebe U, Eggert A. Drainage after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Minim Invasive Chir 1994;3:90-2.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Nomdedeu J, Escrig J, Salvador JL. Systematic placement of drains in laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A prospective study. Rev Soc Valencia Patol Dig 1996;15:299-300.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Gurusamy KS, Samraj K. Routine abdominal drainage for uncomplicated open cholecystectomy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007;2:CD006003.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Satinský I, Mitták M, Foltys A, Dostalík J. [Subhepatic drainage in laparoscopic cholecystectomy-a necessity or an overused tradition?]. Rozhl Chir 2003;82:427-31.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Hawasli A, Brown E. The effect of drains in laparoscopic cholecystectomy. J Laparoendo Surg 1994;4:393-8.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Uchiyama K, Tani M, Kawai M, Terasawa H, Hama T, Yamaue H. Clinical significance of drainage tube insertion in laparoscopic cholecystectomy: A prospective randomized controlled trial. J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Surg 2007;14:551-6.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Tzovaras G, Liakou P, Fafoulakis F, Baloyiannis I, Zacharoulis D, Hatzitheofilou C. Is there a role for drain use in elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy? A controlled randomized trial. Am J Surg 2009;197:759-63.   Back to cited text no. 17
18.Playforth MJ, Sauven P, Evan M, Pallock AV. Suction drainage of the gallbladder bed does not prevent complications after cholecystectomy: A random control clinical trial. Br J Surg 1985;72:269-71.  Back to cited text no. 18


  [Table 1], [Table 2]

This article has been cited by
1 The Japan Society for Surgical Infection: guidelines for the prevention, detection, and management of gastroenterological surgical site infection, 2018
Hiroki Ohge, Toshihiko Mayumi, Seiji Haji, Yuichi Kitagawa, Masahiro Kobayashi, Motomu Kobayashi, Toru Mizuguchi, Yasuhiko Mohri, Fumie Sakamoto, Junzo Shimizu, Katsunori Suzuki, Motoi Uchino, Chizuru Yamashita, Masahiro Yoshida, Koichi Hirata, Yoshinobu Sumiyama, Shinya Kusachi
Surgery Today. 2021; 51(1): 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Comparison of laparoscopic cholecystectomy with and without abdominal drainage in patients with non-complicated benign gallbladder disease
Jia Yang, Yang Liu, Peijing Yan, Hongwei Tian, Wutang Jing, Moubo Si, Kehu Yang, Tiankang Guo
Medicine. 2020; 99(20): e20070
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Is a Drain Necessary Routinely After Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy for an Acutely Inflamed Gallbladder? A Retrospective Analysis of 457 Cases
Eun Young Kim,Young Kyoung You,Dong Goo Kim,Soo Ho Lee,Jae Hyun Han,Sung Kyun Park,Gun Hyung Na,Tae Ho Hong
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 2014;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 To drain or not to drain elective uncomplicated laparoscopic cholecystectomy? A systematic review and meta-analysis
Walter Bugiantella,Maria Cristina Vedovati,Cecilia Becattini,Ruben Carlo Balzarotti Canger,Nicola Avenia,Fabio Rondelli
Journal of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Sciences. 2014; : n/a
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Biliary leakage management [Prise en charge des plaies de la voie biliaire]
Pioche, M. and Ponchon, T.
Journal de Chirurgie Viscerale. 2013; 150(3 SUPPL): S33-S38
6 Management of bile duct leaks
M. Pioche,T. Ponchon
Journal of Visceral Surgery. 2013; 150(3): S33
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Print this article  Email this article


© 2004 Journal of Minimal Access Surgery
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 15th August '04