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Surgery. 2007 Oct;142(4):450-6; discussion 456-7.

Long-term outcome of biliary reconstruction for bile duct injuries from laparoscopic cholecystectomies.

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Department of General Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.



Major bile duct injuries remain a potentially devastating complication after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A retrospective review was conducted of patients who underwent a biliary-enteric reconstruction of a biliary injury to assess their long-term outcome.


Retrospective review of bile duct injury database from January 1990 to December 2005.


A total of 144 patients were treated for bile duct injury, and 84 (58%) required a biliary-enteric reconstruction. Stratification by Bismuth-Strasberg injury level revealed E1 or E2 in 23, E3 in 33, E4 in 17, E5 in 1, and B+C in 10. Forty-four (52%) were operated within 7 days of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the remainder operated at a median of 79 days after referral. Early or late mortality occurred in 3 (4%). At a mean follow-up of 67 months, 9 patients (11%) developed a biliary stricture presented at a median of 13 months after bile duct repair. Level of injury was very important in predicting a postoperative biliary stricture: E4 (35%) versus E3 (9%; P = .023), and E4 versus E1, E2 B+C (0%; P = .001). More strictures occurred in patients operated within 7 days of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (19%) versus delayed repair (8%; P = .053). Overall, 90% of patients are alive and nonstented; 5 patients have chronic liver disease (1 on the waiting list for liver transplant). Nonbiliary complications occurred in 15 patients; the total morbidity was 40%.


Bile duct injuries that require a biliary-enteric repair are commonly associated with long-term complications. Level of injury and likely timing of repair predict risk of postoperative stricture.

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