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ARTICLE |

Common Bile Duct Exploration in the Era of Laparoscopic Surgery

Mark E. Stoker, MD
Arch Surg. 1995;130(3):265-269. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1995.01430030035005.
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Objective:  To review the treatment and outcome of patients with common bile duct (CBD) stones who underwent cholecystecomy.

Design:  Prospective series of 700 consecutive laparoscopic cholecystectomies, with a mean follow-up of 22 months.

Setting:  University-affiliated community hospital.

Patients:  Eighty patients with documented CBD stones during a 42-month period (July 1990 to January 1994).

Interventions:  Laparoscopic CBD exploration (LCBDE) was performed with either choledochotomy and T tube (n=27) or transcystic duct choledochoscopy (n=33). Open CBDE (OCBDE) (n=16) and endoscopic sphincterotomy (n=16) were also employed.

Main Outcome Measures:  Documented removal of CBD stones and procedure-related complications.

Results:  Laparoscopic CBDE was successful in 60 (94%) of 64 attempted cases. Mean operating time was 149±40 minutes and length of hospital stay was 2.8±2.1 days. Six complications (10%) were recorded, including three retained stones (5%). In 11 of 16 patients undergoing OCBDE, CBD stones were discovered with intraoperative cholangiography after conversion to laparotomy was needed for completion of the cholecystectomy. One OCBDE was planned in a patient with suppurative cholangitis. Preoperative endoscopic sphincterotomy (n=11) was successful in four patients. Postoperative endoscopic sphincterotomy (n=5) was successful in four patients.

Conclusion:  With a protocol of routine cholangiography, LCBDE, and selective use of OCBDE (when LCBDE is not possible), the reliance on a second procedure (endoscopic sphincterotomy) can be minimized. Laparoscopic CBDE, a technically demanding operation, is possible at the time of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the majority of cases, with a low complication rate and a short length of hospital stay.(Arch Surg. 1995;130:265-269)

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