The majority of pediatric patients with choledochal cysts (CDC) are symptomatic prior to undergoing CDC excision. This study investigated the impact of surgical timing of CDC excision on postoperative outcomes among children.
We performed a retrospective review of 59 patients undergoing open CDC excision with Roux-Y hepaticojejunostomy between 2000 and 2020. Patients were grouped based on whether they underwent an electively scheduled or urgent CDC excision, as defined as CDC excision within the same admission due to CDC-related symptoms. Patient characteristics and perioperative data were compared between the two groups.
Patients who underwent an elective surgery were older, had more Todani-type 1 CDC, and had decreased postoperative hospital length of stay and opioid use compared to patients who underwent CDC excision within the same admission due to CDC-related symptoms. No significant differences emerged regarding postoperative complications. Multivariable analysis showed that elective cyst excision (HR = 0.55, p = 0.04; HR = 0.59, p = 0.008) and type 1 CDC (HR = 0.32, p = 0.03; HR = 0.12, p < 0.001) were independently associated with decreased opioid use and postoperative hospital length of stay.
Elective CDC excision is associated with shortened hospital stay and decreased opioid use among children compared to patients who undergo a CDC excision during the same admission for CDC-related symptoms.

© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.