Laparoscopic Common Bile Duct Exploration

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To describe the technique of laparoscopic common bile duct exploration (LCBDE) with high clearance rates, low morbidity, and mortality rates.

Summary Background Data:

LCBDE is well accepted by patients because treatment is obtained during the same anesthesia. If one stage therapy for gallstones and common bile duct stones provides success rates equivalent to those of the sequential approach, with lower costs, this should be considered the standard of care.


From September 1991 to March 2007, 5201 laparoscopic cholecystectomies were performed at São José Avaí Hospital. LCBDE was carried out in 481 patients (9.25%).


Of 481 LCBDE, 225 (46.78%) were managed using a transcystic approach and 183 (38.05%) with choledochotomy (114 with transcystic choledochotomy and 69 with longitudinal opening of the common bile duct). Successful laparoscopic stone clearance was achieved in 468 (97.3%). An elective postsurgical endoscopic sphincterotomy were done on the 13 (2.70%) patients not cleared laparoscopically. Seven patients had unexpected retained stones.


LCBDE during laparoscopic cholecystectomy solves 2 problems during the same anesthesia with high success rates and may be employed successfully.

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