Recognition and management of biliary complications after laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Benjamin N.J. Thomson, Mark J. Cullinan, Simon W. Banting, Neil A. Collier, on behalf of The Universities of Melbourne Hepatobiliary Group

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Injuries to the extrahepatic biliary tree at laparoscopic cholecystectomy cause major morbidity and are a major source of litigation. Injuries are often diagnosed late, leading to further complications and decreasing the chance of a successful repair. Methods: A prospective study was carried out of all patients with extrahepatic biliary injuries from cholecystectomy who were referred to the surgeons of the Universities of Melbourne Hepatobiliary Group between 1997 and 1999. Results: Twenty-seven patients sustained biliary injuries to the extrahepatic biliary tree. Twenty patients (74%) had unrecognized injuries at the time of cholecystectomy. The median time to referral was 9 days. Only two of 11 operative cholangiograms were interpreted as showing a biliary injury. Conclusion: Biliary injuries are still occurring at laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Guidelines about the management of a suspected biliary injury are discussed. Clinical, radiological and pathological assessment should enable prompt diagnosis and management should be instituted early, preferably with the involvement of a hepatobiliary specialist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Biliary
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Injuries
  • Laparoscopy
  • Recognition

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