Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 24, Issue 7, pp 1552–1556 | Cite as

Laparoscopic transcystic bile duct exploration: the treatment of first choice for common bile duct stones

  • Faisal Hanif
  • Zubir Ahmed
  • M. Abdel Samie
  • Ahmad H. M. NassarEmail author



This study was designed to explore the role of transcystic bile duct exploration (TCE) as a first line of treatment for patients with suspected or incidental common bile duct (CBD) stones.


A prospective, case-control study of clinically comparable groups of patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) alone (n = 1,854) and combined LC/TCE for CBD stones (n = 253) under the care of one surgeon was performed. Other than ultrasonography, no routine preoperative imaging was used; however, we performed routine intraoperative cholangiography on all patients.


There was no difference in age (49 ± 15 vs. 57 ± 19, p = 0.7), sex (79% vs. 82% females, p = 0.6), and ASA grade (1.9 ± 1 vs. 1.8 ± 1, p = 0.7). A larger proportion of the TCE group presented as an emergency (TCE 45% vs. LC alone 27%, p = 0.03) and more often presented with acute biliary pain compared with LC alone (27% vs. 13%, p = 0.02). Although a majority of the patients in the TCE group had clinical or biochemical risk factors for CBD stones (86%), only 27% had suspected stones on preoperative ultrasound. The incidence of jaundice (6% vs. 20%, p = 0.01) was lower in the LC alone group compared with TCE patients. Previous abdominal surgery was noted in 34% patients who underwent LC alone and 30% in LC/TCE (p = 0.06). Significantly there was no difference in open conversion between the two groups (LC alone 0.5% vs. LC/TCE 0.6%, p = 0.07). Comparison of selected outcome parameters for LC versus TCE showed a postoperative hospital stay of 2 (1–14) vs. 2 (1–17) days (p = 0.07), presentation to resolution 1 (1–11) vs. 1 (1–11) weeks (p = 0.07), and morbidity 1.07% vs. 1.2% (p = 0.07).


The study advocates single-session laparoscopic cholecystectomy with transcystic CBD exploration as a feasible first choice treatment and the logical next step in the management of patients with CBD stones.


Laparoscopic cholecystectomy Intraoperative cholangiogram Transcystic CBD exploration Choledochotomy 



Drs. Faisal Hanif, Zubir Ahmed, Abdel M. Samie, and Ahmad Nassar have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Faisal Hanif
    • 1
  • Zubir Ahmed
    • 1
  • M. Abdel Samie
    • 1
  • Ahmad H. M. Nassar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Monklands Hospital, NHS LanarkshireAirdrieUK

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