Effect of intraoperative cholangiography during cholecystectomy on outcome after gallstone pancreatitis

Robert S Bennion, Lance E Wyatt, Jesse E Thompson
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 2002, 6 (4): 575-81
Acute gallstone pancreatitis has traditionally been managed by early cholecystectomy with intraoperative cholangiography (IOC). To evaluate the effect of IOC on patient outcome, we analyzed all patients operated on for acute gallstone pancreatitis at our institution over a 3-year period. A total of 200 patients (37 open, 163 laparoscopic) were evaluated. Nineteen of 34 patients who underwent preoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) were found to have common bile duct (CBD) stones. The 59 patients who underwent cholecystectomy with IOC had significantly longer operative times compared to the 141 patients who underwent cholecystectomy alone (167 vs. 105 minutes for open [P = 0.008] and 89 vs. 68 minutes for laparoscopic [P < 0.0001] operations). Of the 59 patients who underwent IOC, only nine (15%) had abnormal cholangiograms, and CBD exploration in seven revealed stones in four patients, edematous ampullae in two, and no abnormality in one. Six of eight patients (5 IOC, 3 no IOC) who required immediate postoperative ERCP were noted to have CBD stones. Patients who underwent IOC had significantly longer postoperative hospital stays (3.8 vs. 2.0 days [P = 0.007]). The incidence of retained CBD stones following surgery was similar (5.1% IOC, 2.8% no IOC). Although 7 of 122 patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy without IOC were readmitted, only one was found on ERCP to have a retained CBD stone. Age, sex, preoperative days, procedure type, and biliary-pancreatic complications after discharge did not differ significantly between patients with and without IOC. We conclude that IOC in patients operated on for acute gallstone pancreatitis results in a longer operative time and a prolonged postoperative course, but has no effect on the incidence of retained CBD stones.

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