Laparoscopic Choledocholithotomy

  • Joseph B. Petelin


Choledocholithiasis is present in approximately 10% of patients who present for cholecystectomy [1,2]. Definitive treatment of these patients includes not only cholecystectomy, but also clearance of the entire ductal system. This has presented a technical challenge to the biliary tract surgeon since the earliest days of biliary tract surgery. Indeed, while Langenbuch performed the first cholecystectomy in July 1882, the first successful common duct exploration was not performed until 8 years later, in January 1890 by Courvoisier [3]. One hundred years later, in the late 1980s, laparoscopic cholecystectomy was introduced and soon became the standard of care. While many early observers believed that a laparoscopic approach to common bile duct exploration would present insurmountable technical difficulties, the pioneers in this field quickly developed numerous laparoscopic techniques for treating common duct pathology. Laparoscopic common bile duct exploration has been effectively employed in thousands of cases, albeit by a relatively small percentage of the practicing biliary tract surgeons today. The reasons for this lack of application of laparoscopic ductal exploration are many, and too complicated to permit a full discussion here. Nevertheless, a brief review of the recent history of biliary tract surgery is enlightening.


Common Bile Duct Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Cystic Duct Common Bile Duct Stone Bile Duct Stone 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph B. Petelin

There are no affiliations available

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