Introduction: Studies have shown that post-operative telephone follow-up is satisfactory and effective. As high quality evidence is scant, we conducted a randomized controlled trial to compare it against outpatient clinic review for emergency laparoscopic appendicectomy or cholecystectomy. Method: Patients who received emergency laparoscopic appendicectomy or cholecystectomy were eligible for this study. Once recruited, they were randomly allocated to either clinic review or telephone follow-up on discharge. Participants were reviewed at 2 weeks after operation and contacted again at 4 weeks after initial follow-up for satisfaction survey. Results: One hundred and seventy-nine participants were recruited with one withdrawn consent and six excluded. Ninety-six underwent laparoscopic appendicectomy and 76 had laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Ninety-six attended clinic review and 76 had telephone follow-up. The two groups were similar in baseline variables. Non-attendance rate was higher for clinic review cohort (24% vs 6.6%, P = 0.002). Participants who received telephone review reported higher satisfaction level (9.31 vs 8.85, P = 0.002), and most patients prefer telephone follow-up (73.1%, P < 0.0001). No difference was detected for missed complications (P = 0.354). Conclusion: Telephone follow-up post laparoscopic appendicectomy or cholecystectomy is safe, satisfying and effective.
- prospective studies