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The safety and feasibility of reoperation for the treatment of hepatolithiasis by laparoscopic approach



Hepatolithiasis removal is associated with high rates of postoperative residual and recurrence, which in some cases may require multiple surgeries. The progress and development of laparoscopic techniques introduced a new way of treating hepatolithiasis. However, the selection criteria for laparoscopic hepatolithiasis surgery, particularly among patients with a history of biliary surgery, remain undetermined. This study aimed to evaluate the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of reoperation for the treatment of hepatolithiasis via a laparoscopic approach.


A retrospective analysis of the perioperative course and outcomes was performed on 90 patients who underwent laparoscopic procedures for hepatolithiasis between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2012. Thirty-eight patients had previous biliary tract operative procedures (PB group) and 52 patients had no previous biliary tract procedures (NPB).


There was no significant difference in operative time (342.3 ± 101.0 vs. 334.1 ± 102.7 min), intraoperative blood loss (561.2 ± 458.8 vs. 546.3 ± 570.5 ml), intraoperative transfusion (15.8 vs. 19.2 %), postoperative hospitalization (12.6 ± 4.2 vs. 13.4 % ± 6.3 days), postoperative complications (18.4 vs. 23.1 %), conversion to open laparotomy (10.5 vs. 9.6 %), or intraoperative stone clearance rate (94.7 vs. 90.4 %). There was also no significant difference in stone recurrence (7.9 vs. 11.5 %) and recurrent cholangitis (5.3 vs. 13.5 %) at a mean of 19 months of follow-up (range, 3–51 months) for PB patients compared to NPB patients. The final stone clearance rate was 100 % in both groups.


Reoperation for hepatolithiasis by laparoscopic approach is safe and feasible for selected patients who have undergone previous biliary operations.

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Drs. Tian, Li, Chen, Fan, Bie, Wang, and Zheng have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Shu-guo Zheng.

Additional information

This study was supported by the Foundation of Clinical Scientific Research, Third Military Medical University (No. 2009XLC13).

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Tian, J., Li, J., Chen, J. et al. The safety and feasibility of reoperation for the treatment of hepatolithiasis by laparoscopic approach. Surg Endosc 27, 1315–1320 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-012-2606-8

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  • Bile duct stones
  • Hepatectomy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Reoperation
  • Therapeutic effect