Background: The necessity of carrying out preor intra-operative imaging of the biliary tree to rule out a possible anatomical abnormality or the presence of common bile duct (CBD) stones in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is debated. We prospectively assessed the risk of developing symptoms related to bile duct injury or CBD stones after LC in children not receiving peri-operative cholangiography. Materials and Methods: All patients ≤ 14 years undergoing elective LC at our institution from January 2003 to June 2005 were included in this study. Peri-operative cholangiography of the CBD was not performed unless there was a suspicion of CBD stones based on clinical examination, liver biochemistry, serum amylase levels or liver ultrasound scan. Patients were prospectively followed up, looking for possible symptoms or clinical, biochemical and radiological signs related to bile duct injury or CBD stones. Results: Twenty-six patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The median age at elective LC was 9.8 (4.1-14.3) years. Surgery was uneventful in all patients. All patients were discharged on post-operative day 1. None developed early symptoms of stone migration. USS performed 1 month after surgery did not show dilatation of the biliary system or stones in the CBD in any patient and no patient developed symptoms related to CBD stones after a median postoperative follow-up of 25 (6-37) months. Conclusions: Patients scheduled for elective LC presenting with unremarkable clinical examination, normal liver biochemistry and serum amylase levels, and without dilatation of the biliary tree on ultrasound scan do not need pre- or intra-operative cholangiography.
- Common bile duct
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health