Watchful waiting after endoscopic removal of common bile duct stones: cheaper and better?
Drake et al. constructed a decision model to compare, in an older population, the costs and 2-yr survival rates of elective cholecystectomy versus expectant management after endoscopic removal of common bile duct (CBD) stones. The base case analysis indicated that the expectant management strategy dominated (less expensive and more effective) the elective surgery strategy. Sensitivity analysis suggested that the two strategies likely had equivalent effectiveness and that results were sensitive to the rate of recurrent biliary symptoms. Patient preferences for the different strategies (i.e., utilities) were not included in the model but are important to elicit and consider in clinical practice.
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