[Surgical treatment of bile duct injuries following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Does the concomitant hepatic arterial injury influence the long-term outcome?]

S C Schmidt, J M Langrehr, U Settmacher, P Neuhaus
Zentralblatt Für Chirurgie 2004, 129 (6): 487-92

BACKGROUND: Bile duct injuries are the most dreaded complication associated with laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Recent collective reviews have outlined the management of bile duct injuries, but only few have reported on the significance of concomitant injuries of the right hepatic artery. This study was conducted to compare the outcome of patients with isolated bile duct injuries and patients with additional vascular injuries.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: From January 1990 to February 2002, a total of 54 patients with bile duct injuries during laparoscopic cholecystectomy were surgically treated in our institution. In 46 patients a Roux-Y hepaticojejunostomy was performed. Eight patients underwent other surgical procedures and were not included in the statistical analysis. 11 patients had a concomitant vascular injury. Multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate the impact of vascular injuries.

RESULTS: The rate of postoperative biliary complications was 21.7 % for all patients. Patients with combined bile duct and hepatic arterial injuries had a higher risk for the development of a biliary complication (6 of 11 patients (54.5 %) versus 4 of 35 patients (11.4 %); p = 0.006). After a median follow-up time of 61 months (range, 2-164 months) a successful overall outcome was achieved in 42 of 46 patients (91.3 %), which included the patients who required additional endoscopic or surgical treatment after primary reconstruction. The long-term outcome was successful in 9 of 11 patients (81.8 %) with combined bile duct and hepatic arterial injuries and in 33 of 35 patients (94.3 %) with solitary bile duct injury.

CONCLUSION: The outcome of patients with combined bile duct and arterial injuries is worse than in patients with isolated bile duct injuries. We therefore recommend the evaluation of patients with major bile duct injuries for additional vascular injuries. Vascular reconstruction should be performed when ever possible in early recognised injuries to prevent late complications.

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