Author(s): Woods MS, Shellito JL, Santoscoy GS, Hagan RC, Kilgore WR,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Cystic duct leak (CDL) appears to complicate laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) more often than open cholecystectomy (OC). No mention of CDL was found in a literature review that covered 48,822 OCs and their complications. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Fifty-four patients who developed biliary tract injuries following LC were reviewed for: the time from LC to presentation, presenting symptoms, method of diagnosis, treatment, outcome, and follow-up. RESULTS: Seventeen of 54 biliary tract complications (31\%) were CDLs. The CDLs presented at a median of 4 days after LC with pain (76\%) and nausea and/or vomiting (35\%). Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) defined the diagnosis and the anatomy of the leak in 11 patients (65\%). Biliary endoprosthesis placement was employed in 8 patients, with concomitant sphincterotomy in 5 (63\%), and resolved CDL in every case. Seven (88\%) of these patients were asymptomatic at a median interval of 10 months after stent retrieval. Six patients (35\%) underwent reoperation. Five had laparotomy with ligation of the cystic duct stump and 1 underwent laparoscopic examination with reclipping of the cystic duct stump. Five (83\%) were asymptomatic at a median follow-up of 26 months. CDLs may result from inaccurate clip placement, perforations proximal to the clips, and stump necrosis, as documented at reoperation. CONCLUSIONS: CDLs occur more frequently in LC than in the OCs reported in the literature. Most leaks require intervention. ERCP with stent placement is the diagnostic and therapeutic procedure of choice and has a high success rate of resolving leaks. To forestall CDLs, it is important to place clips accurately and avoid electrocautery in the vicinity of the cystic duct.
This article was published in Am J Surg
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System