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A study of preoperative factors associated with a poor outcome following laparoscopic bile duct exploration



The aim of this study was to identify preoperative factors associated with poor outcome following laparoscopic bile duct exploration.


Data regarding potential preoperative factors were collected prospectively and from a review of patient records of 436 patients who had undergone a laparoscopic bile duct exploration. A multivariate analysis was performed to identify significant predictors of five adverse outcomes: postoperative complication (stratified), conversion to open operation, prolonged hospital stay, bile leak following choledochotomy, and failure of surgical clearance of the duct.


The mean age was 57 years (range = 18–91) and 74% were female. No complications were experienced by 66.5% and 17% had a minor Clavien Grade I complication. There was one death. Clinically significant Clavien Grade II–V complications occurred more frequently in those of increasing age [OR = 1.03 (CI = 1.01–1.05), p = 0.02]. Increasing serum bilirubin [OR = 1.01 (CI = 1.00–1.01), p = 0.01] was associated with conversion to an open operation. Male sex [OR = 0.52 (CI = 0.27–0.99), p = 0.05], previous upper abdominal surgery [OR = 4.89 (CI = 1.10–21.74), p = 0.04], immunosuppressants [OR = 9.75 (CI = 1.06–89.93), p = 0.05], and a larger preoperative common bile duct diameter [OR = 1.16 (CI = 1.08–1.25), p < 0.001] were predictors of a prolonged hospital stay. No factors were identified as predictors of a controlled bile leak. Previous failed ERCP was not associated with adverse outcome.


Laparoscopic exploration of the bile duct is safe but age, comorbidity, and degree of jaundice increase the risk slightly.

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Hamish Noble, Elise Whitley, Sally Norton, and Michael Thompson have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Hamish Noble.

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Noble, H., Whitley, E., Norton, S. et al. A study of preoperative factors associated with a poor outcome following laparoscopic bile duct exploration. Surg Endosc 25, 130–139 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-010-1146-3

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  • Common bile duct calculi
  • Gallstones
  • Laparoscopic surgical procedure
  • Complications
  • Postoperative
  • Outcome measures