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Background: Delays in the treatment of symptomatic cholelithiasis (SCL) increases the risk of biliary complications. There may be differences in the treatment of SCL between the public sector and the social security in the Greater Buenos Aires (GBA).
Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the proportion of patients with complicated gallstone disease (CGD) with previous diagnosis of SCL and to evaluate the history of CGD according to the presence of symptoms and its relation with the health care system.
Material and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study comparing a public hospital (PH) versus a private center (PrH) in the GBA. The clinical records were analyzed and patients with a history of cholecystectomy due to CGD (acute cholecystitis, acute pancreatitis and acute choledocholithiasis) were surveyed.
Results: A total of 105 PH patients and 136 PrH patients were included. The baseline characteristics differed in terms of age, educational level, distance from home to hospital and ASA physical status clas- sification. The previous diagnosis of SCL was more common in the PH (60% vs. 39.7%; p = 0.02) and this difference persisted after multivariate adjustment (OR 2.14; 95% CI, 1.1-4.1; p = 0.02). The PH presented more patients with abdominal pain and more visits to the emergency department (ED) after the diagnosis; time after the diagnosis was greater and these patients spent more time on the waiting list.
Conclusions: The PH showed greater loss of surgical opportunity of uncomplicated cholelithiasis. This may be due to multiple factors, but further studies