REEXPLORATION of the common bile duct often is a frustrating procedure and not infrequently is associated with serious complications. This is a report of 20 re-explorations of a total of 413 bile duct explorations performed in St. Luke's Hospital from 1953 through 1963. These cases have been reviewed to evaluate the reasons for reexploration and to determine if such operations could have been prevented.
At the time of the first operation each of the 20 patients had a common duct exploration with T-tube drainage. Stones were found in the gallbladder in every patient; also, 18 had stones in the common duct. In no instance was there obvious evidence of a malignant tumor.
—In this group of 20 patients, 16 had cholangiograms performed in the operating room. The final roentgenogram in 15 was thought by the surgeon to show no filling defect or point of obstruction in the biliary