The common bile duct is a relatively short and deep structure in the abdomen, running in close relation to numerous organs, which thus militate against its easy examination at operation. For this reason the operative diagnosis and removal of stones in the common bile duct pose problems.This paper describes the findings of an investigation into the surgical anatomy of the common bile duct under normal and abnormal conditions. As an accurate knowledge of anatomy is essential for common bile duct surgery, this study highlights the features of importance to the surgeon.First an account is given of the conventional description of the common bile duct, as found in most anatomy textbooks of today. This allows the reader to compare and contrast the conventional concept of the common bile duct with the findings of the present investigation and with that of others discussed in this paper.
The Conventional Description