Results Obtained with the Laparoscopic Approach to the Bile Duct for the Treatment of Choledocholithiasis in 101 Cases
Belén Martin Arnau, Manuel Rodriguez Blanco, Victor Molina Santos, Antonio Rabal Fueyo, Antonio Moral Duarte, Santiago Sánchez Cabús
Cholangiopancreatography endoscopic retrograde, Choledocholithiasis, Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic common bile duct exploration
Citation Information :
Arnau BM, Blanco MR, Santos VM, Fueyo AR, Duarte AM, Cabús SS. Results Obtained with the Laparoscopic Approach to the Bile Duct for the Treatment of Choledocholithiasis in 101 Cases. World J Lap Surg 2021; 14 (2):119-125.
Background: The optimal treatment for choledocholithiasis (CLT) is currently the subject of debate, as there is no clear evidence that a two-step (endoscopic plus surgical) approach is superior to a one-step surgical procedure.
Materials and methods: We analyzed the results obtained from 101 consecutive patients diagnosed with CLT using magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) or computed tomography (CT) scan undergoing cholecystectomy and laparoscopic exploration of the bile duct, carried out at our center between 2006 and 2019. In this analysis, special emphasis was made on the permanent resolution of the CLT and the associated complications.
Results: The mean surgical time was 142 ± 36.7 minutes. In patients with a CLT diagnostic test more than 7 days previously, the presence of CLT was checked using intraoperative cholangiography (IOC), which was negative in 25% of patients, while in the rest, a primary exploration was performed using a choledochoscope via choledochotomy in 82.2% of patients and via the transcystic approach in two cases. A T-tube drain was inserted in 18.9% of patients. The conversion rate was 0.9%, due to a technical difficulty in removing the CLT in one patient. The laparoscopic approach treated the CLT permanently in 97/101 cases (96%), while four patients (3.9%) required postoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) due to residual cholelithiasis. A total of 15.8% of patients experienced a postoperative biliary fistula, which was resolved using conservative management in 86.7% of them, while two patients required surgical treatment and insertion of a percutaneous drain, respectively. The average postoperative stay duration was 6.5 ± 7.3 days. None of the patients showed signs of biliary stricture in the long-term postoperative follow-up.
Conclusion: In our experience, the laparoscopic approach for one-step elective treatment of CLT is a safe option, with a very small number of complications and satisfactory short- and long-term results. Furthermore, despite preoperative identification of CLT, it helped to avoid unnecessary exploration of the bile duct in 25% of patients.
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