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Characteristics Of Biliary Tract Complications During Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: A Multi-institutional Study.

M. Woods, L. Traverso, R. Kozarek, J. Tsao, R. L. Rossi, D. Gough, J. Donohue
Published 1994 · Medicine

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We collected the records of 81 patients with biliary tract injuries occurring during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) who were referred to 3 referral centers during a 33-month (May 1990 to March 1993) period. All records were reviewed to provide data concerning the anatomy of the lesion induced, method of injury, timing of injury detection, role of intraoperative cholangiography (IOC), methods of treatment, and outcome of these injuries. Injuries were classified by our own method as follows: (1) cystic duct leaks (n = 15), (2) bile leaks and/or ductal strictures (n = 27), and (3) ductal transections or excisions (n = 39). Peak occurrence by quarter of the year was 4th quarter, 1990 (Lahey), and 3rd quarter, 1991 (Mason), and 1st quarter, 1992 (Mayo). The majority (62%) of the injuries were recognized after LC. At the time of LC, 31 of 81 (38%) injuries were recognized and converted to open procedures. Data regarding IOC were available in 63 of 81 (78%) cases. In patients in whom IOC was not performed, 14 of 38 (37%) operations were converted; if an IOC was obtained and interpreted correctly, 13 of 21 (62%) operations were converted. Primary repair was attempted in 11 leaks and/or strictures, but 36% required additional treatment. Primary repair was used in six transections or excisions, and 17% have required further intervention. In patients who had biliary-enteric bypass (BEB) performed outside (17) versus at the referral institution (29), 94% (16 patients) versus 0%, respectively, required additional operative (e.g., revision of a hepaticojejunostomy) or nonoperative (e.g., radiologic or endoscopic stenting or balloon dilation) procedures. When used as initial therapy or after a primary ductal repair, stents (with or without balloon dilation) resolved 100% of simple cystic duct leaks and 91% of leaks and/or strictures. In conclusion, the peak incidence of LC-related biliary injuries appears to have passed. A completed and correctly interpreted IOC increases the chance of detection of biliary injuries intraoperatively and should assist surgeons who use routine IOC. Nonsurgical techniques allow treatment of most simple cystic duct leaks, major ductal leaks and/or strictures, and postoperative BEB strictures, although follow-up is limited. The poor results of pre-referral BEB is not surprising since all of these patients were selected for referral because their treatments had not been successful.

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