Background: According to the literature, the conversion\ud rate for laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) after endoscopic\ud sphincterotomy (ES) for cholecystodocholithiasis\ud reaches 20%, at least when LC is performed 6 to 8 weeks\ud afterward. It is hypothesized that early planned LC after ES\ud prevents recurrent biliary complications and reduces\ud operative morbidity and hospital stay.\ud Methods: All consecutive patients who underwent LC\ud after ES between 2001 and 2004 were retrospectively\ud evaluated. Recurrent biliary complications during the\ud waiting time for LC, conversion rate, postoperative complications,\ud and hospital stay were documented.\ud Results: This study analyzed 167 consecutive patients (59\ud men) with a median age of 54 years. The median interval\ud between ES and LC was 7 weeks (range, 1–49 weeks).\ud During the waiting time for LC, 33 patients (20%) had\ud recurrent biliary complications including cholecystitis\ud (n = 18, 11%), recurrent choledocholithiasis (n = 9, 5%),\ud cholangitis (n = 4, 2%), and biliary pancreatitis (n = 2,\ud 1%). Of these 33 patients, 15 underwent a second endoscopic\ud retrograde cholangiography (ERC). The median\ud time between ES and the development of recurrent complications\ud was 22 days (range, 3–225 days). Most of the\ud biliary complications (76%) occurred more than 1 week\ud after ES. Conversion to open cholecystectomy occurred for\ud 7 of 33 patients with recurrent complications during the\ud waiting period, compared with 13 of 134 patients with an\ud uncomplicated waiting period (p = 0.14). This concurred\ud with doubled postoperative morbidity (24% vs 11%;\ud p = 0.09) and a longer hospital stay (median, 4 vs 2 days;\ud p < 0.001).\ud Conclusion: In this retrospective analysis, 20% of all\ud patients had recurrent biliary complications during the\ud waiting period for cholecystectomy after ES. These\ud recurrent complications were associated with a significantly\ud longer hospital stay. Cholecystectomy within 1 week\ud after ES may prevent recurrent biliary complications in the\ud majority of cases and reduce the postoperative hospital\ud stay
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