BACKGROUND:  The ideal management of common bile duct (CBD) stones is preoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) followed by laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) which should be safe and cost effective. The time interval between ERCP and LC is a matter of debate.            

Aim: To evaluate the effect of time interval between ERCP and LC in patients with calcular obstructive jaundice as regard the operative time , conversion rate , hospital stay and post operative morbidity and mortality.

Patients and methods: This prospective randomized study was conducted at general surgery department, Sohag university hospital From January 2010 to March 2012, it included 115 patients with calcular obstructive jaundice who subjected to ERCP. Elective LC was planned and performed within 48 hours (early group=60 patients) and after 4 weeks (delayed group=55 patients) following ERCP.

Results: Of 115 patients, Twenty patients needed conversion to open cholecystectomy, Five in the early group (8.3%) and fifteen in the delayed group (27.2%). The operative time was longer in the second group as compared to the first group and this was statistically significant. The mean length of hospital stay in early group was 3±2.6 versus 7±3.2 in the delayed group. More postoperative complications was found in the second group. No mortalities in

both group

Conclusion: early LC after ERCP has better outcome than delayed one.