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Beyond The Learning Curve: Incidence Of Bile Duct Injuries Following Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Normalize To Open In The Modern Era

Caitlin A. Halbert, Spyridon Pagkratis, Jie Yang, Ziqi Meng, Maria S. Altieri, Purvi M. Parikh, Aurora Pryor, Mark A. Talamini, Dana A. Telem
Published 2015 · Medicine
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BackgroundEarly reports of higher complication rates, specifically bile duct injuries, raised concerns over the safety of laparoscopy over open cholecystectomy. This study aims to ascertain the rate, management, and perioperative outcomes of bile duct injury in an era beyond the laparoscopic learning curve.MethodsThe New York State (NYS) Planning and Research Cooperative System longitudinal administrative database was used to identify patients. From 2005 to 2010, 156,315 patients were identified who had undergone laparoscopic cholecystectomy for symptomatic cholelithiasis or acute or chronic cholecystitis. Patients were then tracked with unique identifiers for common bile duct injury. Common bile duct injury was identified by ICD-9 and CPT diagnosis and procedure codes for patients who subsequently underwent hepatectomy, hepaticojejunostomy, or other bile duct surgery.ResultsFrom 2005 to 2010, 156,958 patients were identified who had undergone laparoscopic cholecystectomy for symptomatic cholelithiasis or acute or chronic cholecystitis. Of the total patients, 149 patients underwent a biliary duct procedure within a year. Twenty-four of them were diagnosed with gallbladder cancer and excluded, leaving 125 for further analysis. The biliary injuries were identified at a rate of 0.080 %. Thirty-one of those patients (24.8 %) underwent hepatectomy, 40 patients (32.0 %) underwent hepaticoenterostomy, and 54 patients (43.2 %) underwent primary repair of the bile duct. Thirty-two (26 %) patients were repaired on the same day of their initial procedure. Of the remaining 93 patients, 38 (30 %) were repaired within 10 days, seven (6 %) repaired between 11 and 20 days, and 48 (38 %) patients over 21 days from injury.ConclusionIn NYS, the rate of bile duct injury has now decreased to 0.08 % and mirrors the historical figures quoted for open cholecystectomy. This improvement likely reflects increased experience, improved instrumentation, and movement beyond the “learning curve.”
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