Endoscopic management of bile duct leaks after attempted laparoscopic cholecystectomy

R. Neidich, N. Soper, S. Edmundowicz, H. Chokshi, G. Aliperti

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22 Scopus citations


Fourteen patients with symptomatic bile duct leaks following laparoscopic cholecystectomy were treated using endotherapeutic techniques. Patients presented with abdominal pain, liver test abnormalities, jaundice, leukocytosis, and fever. Twelve leaks originated from cystic duct stumps and two from right posterior hepatic ducts. Distal biliary obstruction, which may have promoted leakage, was present in five patients. Treatment methods included stent insertion with endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES), stent insertion without ES, and nasobiliary tube (NBT) placement without ES. Eleven of 14 patients had prompt resolution of their bile leaks following initial endotherapy. Three patients with continued leakage underwent successful repeat endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography 4-5 days after the initial examination. Cholangiographic evidence of leak closure was documented in all patients, and all remained asymptomatic during an average follow-up period of 18.5 months. Endoscopic therapy is safe and effective treatment for clinically significant bile leaks following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. In our small group of patients, NBT alone did not appear to be as effective as endoprostheses with or without ES. The ideal endoscopic treatment method has not yet been established but will likely vary depending on the site and specific nature of the injury and any concomitant biliary ductal pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-354
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical Laparoscopy, Endoscopy and Percutaneous Techniques
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Bile leak
  • ERCP
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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