Injury to the extrahepatic bile ducts during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is a cause of serious long-term patient morbidity. In order to identify management strategies and outcome, we undertook a retrospective review and analysis of patients referred to the Department of Surgery and the Division of Gastroenterology for management of bile duct strictures due to injury at LC. Eighteen patients (15 women, 3 men) with a mean age of 41 years were identified over a 4-year period. Six patients had injuries identified at LC. Ten patients had previously undergone an attempt at operative repair (8 end-to-end anastomoses, 1 choledochoduodenostomy, 1 cystic duct jejunostomy). There were 5 Bismuth Grade I strictures, 6 Grade II, 2 Grade III and 5 Grade IV. Ten patients were managed nonoperatively with stents placed by radiologic or endoscopic techniques. Four patients were managed with operation alone (2 choledochojejunostomy, 1 hepaticojejunostomy, and 1 external T-tube drainage) and 4 patients with a combined endoscopic and operative approach (all 4 with hepaticojejunostomy after initial endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography management). Bile duct strictures due to LC are frequently located in the proximal bile ducts (Bismuth II-IV) and are technically difficult to repair. In the majority of cases, injuries are unrecognized at LC. Both immediate and delayed repair attempts prior to referral were frequently unsuccessful. Many bile duct strictures can be managed successfully in the early postoperative period with endoscopic and radiologic stenting techniques. Strictures which cannot be managed nonoperatively are repaired with Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy. The high number of failures with previous end-to-end anastomosis suggests that LC bile duct transection injuries recognized at operation should be managed initially with Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy.
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