, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 315-321
Date: 10 Apr 2014

Bile duct injury after laparoscopic cholecystectomy

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Background: Forty series reporting experience with laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the United States from 1989 to 1995 were reviewed. A total of 114,005 cases were analyzed and 561 major bile duct injuries (0.50%) and 401 bile leaks from the cystic duct or liver bed (0.38%) were recorded. Intraoperative cholangiography (IOC) was attempted in 41.5% of the laparoscopic cholecystectomies and was successful in 82.7%. In major bile duct injuries, the common bile duct/common hepatic duct were the most frequently injured (61.1%) and only 1.4% of the patients had complete transection.

Methods: When reported, most of the bile duct injuries were managed surgically with a biliary-enteric anastomosis (41.8%) or via laparotomy and t-tube or stent placement (27.5%). The long-term success rate could not be determined because of the small number of series reporting this information. The management for bile leaks usually consisted of a drainage procedure (55.3%) performed endoscopically, percutaneously, or operatively.

Results: The morbidity for laparoscopic cholecystectomy, excluding bile duct injuries or leaks, was 5.4% and the overall mortality was 0.06%. It was also noted that the conversion rate to an open procedure was 2.16%.

Conclusions: It is concluded based on this review of laparoscopic cholecystectomies that the morbidity and mortality rates are similar to open surgery. In addition, the rate of bile duct injuries and leaks is higher than in open cholecystectomy. Furthermore, bile duct injuries can be minimized by lateral retraction of the gallbladder neck and careful dissection of Calot’s triangle, the cystic duct–gallbladder junction, and the cystic duct–common bile duct junction.