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Am Surg. 1987 Jan;53(1):16-21.

Complications of biliary surgery.


Procedures on the gallbladder and extrahepatic biliary tract were the most frequently performed operations in a series of 1500 consecutive abdominal operations done in community hospitals. The operative mortality rate for elective cholecystectomy was 0.3 per cent. The complication rate was 21.4 per cent for cholecystectomy. Patients requiring emergency cholecystectomy had significantly more urinary tract and intra-abdominal problems than those patients who underwent surgery electively. Operative cholangiography was performed during 20.3 per cent of the elective cholecystectomies. There were no biliary tract complications among the cholecystectomy patients who had cholangiography. When this study was not performed, 1.5 per cent of the patients had postoperative bile duct problems. Older surgeons (greater than 60 years of age) and high volume surgeons (greater than 300 cases/year) were significantly less likely to employ cholangiography. The mortality rate for elective common duct exploration was 4.4 per cent, with a complication rate of 60 per cent. There was a 13.3 per cent incidence of retained stones after choledochotomy, though this problem was readily managed by percutaneous extraction through the T-tube tract. Complex biliary tract procedures were performed electively without mortality, though the complication rate for these procedures was 35.3 per cent. Two-thirds of the patients undergoing complex biliary tract operations on an emergency basis died. Board certified general surgeons had the same mortality and complication rates for cholecystectomy as well as common bile duct exploration. Noncertified surgeons had significantly more intraabdominal complications after complex biliary tract procedures compared to their board certified colleagues.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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