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Postcholecystectomy biliary leaks in the laparoscopic era: risk factors, presentation, and management. McGill Gallstone Treatment Group



Postcholecystectomy biliary leaks in the laparoscopic era: risk factors, presentation, and management. McGill Gallstone Treatment Group



Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 45(3): 277-282



The management of bile leaks has evolved in the laparoscopic era. This study characterizes risk factors for their developmental and their clinical course and management. Data on a cohort of patients who developed bile leaks after cholecystectomy in the laparoscopic era were gathered prospectively and retrospectively from an ongoing surgical database and following a review of hospital charts. Sixty-four patients (mean age 56 +/- 17.1 years, 72% women) were included over a 5-year study period. The incidence of leaks was 1.1% among patients entered in a laparoscopic cholecystectomy database. Intraoperative complications were encountered in 36%. Rates of intraoperative complication and conversion to open surgery were greater among patients who developed leaks (5.2% vs 0.6% and 33% vs 6.3%, respectively, p < 0.00001). Patients presented 5.3 +/- 4.2 days following surgery with abdominal pain (89%), fever (74%), and tenderness (81%). Ultrasound diagnosed a suspected leak in 73%, which ERCP showed as originating from the cystic duct stump in 77%. Biliary obstruction was noted in 20 (31%) patients (14 with stones). Treatments included percutaneous (13%), endoscopic (28%), primary or secondary operative procedures (14%), or a combination thereof (45%). A complication at laparoscopic cholecystectomy increases the likelihood of a subsequent bile leak. Most patients present early with a patent cystic duct stump in the absence of biliary obstruction. Endoscopic therapy is successful in the majority of cases, but otherwise percutaneous or operative procedures may be needed.

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Accession: 047022008

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PMID: 9087834


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