Acute pancreatitis (AP) is the third most frequent cause of hospital admissions for digestive disorders in the US and Europe after digestive bleeding and cholelithiasis/cholecystitis. The incidence of AP ranges from 15 to 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year, and has been steadily increasing in recent years. In Spain, the reported incidence is 72 patients per 100,000 inhabitants per year. The most frequent cause is biliary lithiasis (50 %-60 % of cases); fortunately, 80 % of patients have only mild symptoms¿as defined by the revised Atlanta Classification¿and progress favorably, although mortality rate is 4.2 %. Clinical guidelines explicitly indicate that laparoscopic cholecystectomy should be performed during the first 48-72 hours or at the time of hospital admission in mild cases of biliary origin.