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Int Surg. 2000 Jan-Mar;85(1):57-63.

Biliary leakage following T-tube removal.

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Department of General Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Princess Basma Teaching Hospital, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid.


This study evaluates the incidence of biliary leakage following T-tube removal from the common bile duct (CBD) in 97 patients who underwent open CBD exploration. In 93 patients, this was following exploration for CBD stones, in two patient it was for obstructive jaundice due to hydatid disease and in a further two patients it was following CBD injury. T-tube cholangiography (TTC) was carried out 7-10 days postoperatively and, if the examination was normal, the T-tube was removed 12-14 days postoperatively (2 months for the CBD injury patients). Following T-tube removal, six patients developed severe abdominal pain, sweating and tachycardia. They were treated with antibiotics, parenteral fluids, and analgesia. Three patients settled with this management. Two patients developed sub-hepatic collections and required open drainage. One patient developed a small pelvic collection, which was aspirated transvaginally. A seventh patient was re-admitted 2 weeks following T-tube removal and laparotomy revealed biliary peritonitis. The patient died the following day. Biliary leakage following removal of a T-tube is not uncommon. It has a significant morbidity and mortality. Our experience and that of the reviewed literature suggests that the aetiology is multifactorial. The management and outcome of this complication is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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