T-tube-related bile leakage is a considerable problem in liver transplantation but rather rare in surgery of biliary lithiasis. To investigate the effect of T-tube insertion method and material on the intraperitoneal T-tube tract, we performed a choledochotomy and insertion of a T-tube (four of silicone, seven of latex, four of silicone with a latex sheath around the long arm) for 2 weeks on 15 piglets (choledochotomy group), and sutured a transected bile duct over a T-tube stent in nine piglets (five silicone, four latex), inserted similarly as in liver transplantations, for 6 weeks. Sixteen patients underwent cholectochotomy and T-tube drainage with a latex T-tube (n = 8) and latex-sheathed silicone T-tube (n = 8) for a median 9 (7–21) days. Histological examination of T-tube tracts in piglets was made, and complications after T-tube removal in the latex T-tube group were compared with those in the latex-sheathed silicone T-tube group. In piglets, latex T-tubes induced better tracts than silicone T-tubes (P < 0.05). Piglets in the choledochotomy group had tracts superior to those in the anastomotic stent group (P < 0.05). There was one bile leakage in the latex T-tube group, and none in the latex-sheathed silicone T-tube group. We conclude that T-tube tract development is affected by both the material and the insertion method of T-tubes. A silicone T-tube with a latex sheath around the long arm may also be a good choice for T-tube material in liver transplantation.