Laparoscopic bile duct injuries: Management at a tertiary liver center

Aaron Savar, Ian Carmody, Jonathan R. Hiatt, Ronald W. Busuttil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Bile duct injury is a rare but morbid complication of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). This study was undertaken to evaluate the management of 20 patients with bile duct injuries during LC who were referred to a tertiary center with expertise in hepatobiliary surgery and liver transplantation. Sixteen (80%) were female. Mean age was 44 (range 13-70) years. Half of the injuries were distal (Bismuth I), and nearly half were diagnosed at LC. Reoperative repair was attempted in 30 per cent. Mean interval between injury and operation was 6.55 months (range 0 to 36 months). Eighteen patients underwent Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy (HJ). Of the two patients who did not undergo HJ (both Bismuth I), one was treated with transhepatic cholangiography only, and one died of multiorgan failure. There were four minor complications and one late reoperation for stricture. We conclude that bile duct injury after LC is successfully managed in a tertiary center by a hepatobiliary-liver transplant team. Principles of management include anatomic definition of injury, control of sepsis, staged approach involving interventional radiology, and operative techniques refined in liver transplantation including magnification, fine sutures, selective use of internal stent, and liver biopsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)906-909
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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