APH 2000, 58, 233-240:

Cholecystectomy and appendectomy utilisation rates in Belgium: trends 1986-1996 and impact of laparoscopic surgery.

M.L. Lambert, MD, MPH.

Keywords: appendectomy, cholecystectomy, laparoscopic surgery, epidemiology, physician's-practice-patterns

We report here 11-year trends in the utilisation of cholecystectomy and appendectomy in Belgium from 1986 to 1996, computed using the National Belgian Health Insurance databases.  Cholecystectomy rates increased by 64% over 7 years (1989-1996) following the introduction of laparoscopic surgery.  Appendectomy rates per 100.000 showed a remarkably steady decrease from 282,3 in 1986 to 166,4 in 1996 and did not seem to be affected by laparoscopic surgery.  Belgian trends parallel those observed elsewhere.  In particular the increase in cholecystectomy use represents a challenge for public health managers and underlines the need for an in-depth evaluation of the new criteria used for this surgery.