Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Hepatol. 2006 Jan-Mar;5(1):44-8.

Bile duct injuries related to misplacement of "T tubes".

Author information

Department of Surgery, Instituto Nacioonal de Ciencias Médicas y Nutición Salvador Zubirán, México, D F.



T tubes can be placed in the bile ducts either open or laparoscopically for several reasons such as: extraction of stones, biliary reconstruction after liver transplant and in end-to-end anastomosis in iatrogenic injuries. Inadequate placement of the T tube, long term stay and technical difficulties that can affect the outcome, can lead to an injury that usually requires a biliodigestive reconstruction.


In a 15-year period (1990-2005) a total of 343 patients have been referred to our university hospital for biliary reconstruction. Files of those patients in which the injury was due to misplacement of a T tube or associated with a long-term stay were reviewed. We evaluated the type of injury, technique used for the reconstruction, longterm staying of the T tubes (1-6 months), hospital in stay, long term outcomes as well as associated comorbidities.


In 42 cases a biliary injury related to a T tube was identified (13%). All the injuries were classified as Strasberg E, with demonstration of a fistula (internal or external); 18 to the duodenum, 5 to the jejunum-ileum and 3 to the colon. A hepatojejunostomy was done to all patients; the duodenum and small gut fistulas were closed and in the 3 cases with colonic injury a right hemicolectomy was performed. The postoperative evolution was adequate without major complications but with a longer hospital stay. In 39 of the 42 patients (92%), good postoperative results were obtained. Only one case required a new surgery (22 months after the first one), due to recidivant cholangitis.


Inadequate placement of the T tubes and long-term stay can produce complex biliary injuries with associated comorbidities such as fistulas to the adjacent viscera. Placement of T tubes need a careful surgical technique and their indication must be carefully assessed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center