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Context Recently published management guidelines for acute pancreatitis provide a standard against which practice can be measured. Specifically it is recommended all patients with gallstone induced pancreatitis have definitive clearance of gallstones within four weeks.
Objective To determine if practice in our institution followed these guidelines and to analyse the effects of delayed clearance of gallstones.
Methods Seventy-six consecutive patients with gallstone pancreatitis presenting within a 15 month period were prospectively studied to compare management with national guidelines and to determine rates of recurrent biliary-pancreatic disease due to delay in clearance of gallstones.
Results Only 5 of 76 patients (6.6%) had operative removal of gallstones within four weeks of their episode of acute pancreatitis. Only 34 of 76 patients (44.7%) had their gallstones removed during the follow up period (minimum 8 months). Fourteen of 76 patients (18.4%) had nplanned readmissions to hospital with biliary-pancreatic disease, necessitating a total of 135 days in hospital.
Conclusions It is clear from this study that guidelines for the management of gallstone acute pancreatitis are not being met, resulting in high rates of readmission with related disease.
Cholecystectomy, Cholelithiasis, Pancreatitis, Practice Guidelines