Postoperative Outcome after Major Liver Resection in Jaundiced Patients with Proximal Bile Duct Cancer without Preoperative Biliary Drainage

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The need for routine use of preoperative biliary drainage (PBD) before major liver resection in jaundiced patients has recently been questioned. Our aim was to present our experience of patients with proximal bile duct cancer who undergo major liver resection without PBD and compare these results with patients without biliary obstruction who underwent major liver resection.


Eighty six consecutive jaundiced patients underwent major liver resection without PBD. The postoperative outcome was compared to the control group, which was the same size and matched.


A case-comparison study.


Fifty nine jaundiced patients (69%) and 22 non-jaundiced patients (25%) received blood transfusion (p = 0.04). Fifty-three patients (62%) in the jaundiced group and 17 (19%) in the non-jaundiced patients experienced postoperative complications (p = 0.003). A statistically significant difference could not be detected for mortality (6 vs. 2%) and transient liver failure (10 vs. 3%). Those patients who underwent extended right hemihepatectomy (with future liver remnant <50%) express high morbidity (55 vs. 24%; p = 0.04) and mortality (23 vs. 8%; p = 0.001) compared to the non-jaundiced patients.


Major liver resection without PBD leaving a liver remnant of more than 50% is safe in jaundiced patients. However, transfusion requirement and morbidity are higher in jaundiced patients than in non-jaundiced patients.


© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel

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