Early experience of laparoscopic complete en bloc excision for choledochal cysts in adults



For choledochal cyst, the treatment of choice is total excision of the cyst because there is a risk of biliary cancer including the gallbladder. The current report describes the authors’ early experiences using their technique of laparoscopic en bloc excision of choledochal cysts with Roux-en-Y biliary reconstruction.


Between September 2009 and July 2011, laparoscopic excision for choledochal cyst was attempted for 20 patients at the Division of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Asan Medical Center. Clinical, radiologic, and surgical data were analyzed retrospectively.


The mean age of the patients was 37.8 ± 11.1 years (range, 18–65 years), and the male-to-female ratio was 1:4.0 (4:16). According to Todani’s classification, there were four type 1a cases, seven type 1c cases, and nine type 4a cases. The mean operation time was 395.8 ± 58.7 min. No perioperative transfusions were required. The average body mass index was 23.5 ± 4.04 kg/m2. Conversion to laparotomy was required for seven patients (35 %) due to bleeding (n = 1), Roux loop venous congestion (n = 1), abdominal obesity (n = 2), and severe fibrosis and inflammation around the cyst (n = 3). No malignancies were identified. Of the 13 patients who underwent laparoscopy, the jejunojejunostomy was created extracorporeally for the first 2 patients and intracorporeally for the subsequent 11 patients. All hepaticojejunostomies were performed intracorporeally. Oral feeding was resumed on postoperative day 3. The mean postoperative hospital stay was 9.3 days (range, 8–36 days). No major complications or mortalities occurred.


The morbidity and mortality rates for the authors’ method are comparable with previously reported results. Although the conversion rate, mean operation time, and hospital stay were greater than reported in some studies, this probably reflected the authors’ learning curve for this technically challenging procedure. They believe laparoscopic approaches will eventually become an advantageous treatment option for laparotomy offered to selected choledochal cyst patients.

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Dae Wook Hwang, Jae Hoon Lee, Sang Yeup Lee, Dae Keun Song, Ji Woong Hwang, Kwang-Min Park, and Young-Joo Lee have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Young-Joo Lee.

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Hwang, D.W., Lee, J.H., Lee, S.Y. et al. Early experience of laparoscopic complete en bloc excision for choledochal cysts in adults. Surg Endosc 26, 3324–3329 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-012-2299-z

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  • Adult
  • Choledochal cyst
  • Hepaticojejunostomy
  • Laparoscopy