Selective Intraoperative Cholangiography During Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: How Selective?

Borjeson, Jonathan; Liu, Samuel K.M.; Jones, Sylvia; Matolo, Nathaniel M.
July 2000
American Surgeon;Jul2000, Vol. 66 Issue 7, p616
Academic Journal
The necessity for intraoperative cholangiography during laparoscopic cholecystectomy has been debated for some time. Numerous retrospective studies favor selective intraoperative cholangiography. Surgeons in favor of the selective policy differ in their personal selective criteria. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate whether intraoperative cholangiography can be safely omitted during laparoscopic cholecystectomy on all patients who fit a standard set of criteria: normal liver function tests, common bile duct diameter less than 10 mm, and no history of gallstone pancreatitis or jaundice. We undertook a prospective study on 155 consecutive patients treated in a county teaching hospital with symptomatic gallbladder disease who met the above standard set of criteria. One hundred and fifty-five patients meeting these criteria underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy during a 2-year period from February 1996 through February 1998. Data analyzed included patient history, laboratory and ultrasound findings, operative results, postoperative stay, and intraoperative and postoperative complications. The patients were followed by periodic interviews, physical examination, liver function tests, and/or biliary ultrasound for up to 3 1/2 years with a mean follow-up of 26 months for retained common bile duct stones. Intraoperative cholangiography was performed in only one of the 155 patients studied to confirm common bile duct injury. There were four postoperative complications (2.6%) and one common bile injury (0.6%). Postoperative stay averaged one day. No patients, by history, biliary ultrasound, liver function tests or endoscopy, were found to have retained common bile duct stones during the follow-up period. Our study shows that intraoperative cholangiography is not necessary for patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy who have normal liver functions tests, common bile duct diameter less than 10 mm, and no history of gallstone pancreatitis or jaundice.


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