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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2002 April;57(2):123-8

language: Italian

Biliary leaks after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Results of the endoscopic treatment

De Palma G. D., Iuliano G. P., Puzziello A., Manfre-dini S., Masone S., Persico G.


Background. Significant postoperative bile leaks occur in approximately 0.8 to 1.1% of patients. The goal of endoscopic therapy is to eliminate the transpapillary pressure gradient, thereby permitting preferential transpapillary bile flow rather than extravasation at the site of leak.
Methods. Sixty-four patients were retrospectively evaluated. Endoscopic treatment comprised endoscopic sphincterotomy followed by insertion of a naso-biliary drainage or a stent. Retained stones were extracted by standard procedures.
Results. The cystic duct remnant was the site of bile extravasation in 50 cases, ducts of Luschka were the source in 4 cases, common bile duct in 6 cases and common hepatic duct in 4 cases. Retained bile duct stones were detected in 21 cases and papillary stenosis in 4 cases. Endoscopic therapy involved sphincterotomy in 25 cases with stones extraction in 21 cases followed by nasobiliary drain insertion, and placement of stent in the remainder. Bile leaks resolved in 96.9% of patients, on average 3 days in cases of associated stones or papillary stenosis, and 6.5 days in the remainder. Two cases of mild pancreatitis were evidenced from endoscopic treatment.
Conclusions. Endoscopic management is the treatment of choice for postcholecystectomy bile leaks.

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