The International Study Group for Liver Surgery (ISGLS) proposed a definition for bile leak after liver surgery. A multicentre international prospective study was designed to evaluate this definition.Methods:
Data collected prospectively from 949 consecutive patients on specific datasheets from 11 international centres were collated centrally.Results:
Bile leak occurred in 69 (7.3%) of patients, with 31 (3.3%), 32 (3.4%) and 6 (0.6%) classified as grade A, B and C, respectively. The grading system of severity correlated with the Dindo complication classification system (P < 0.001). Hospital length of stay was increased when bile leak occurred, from a median of 7 to 15 days (P < 0.001), as was intensive care stay (P < 0.001), and both correlated with increased severity grading of bile leak (P < 0.001). 96% of bile leaks occurred in patients with intra-operative drains. Drain placement did not prevent subsequent intervention in the bile leak group with a 5–15 times greater risk of intervention required in this group (P < 0.001).Conclusion:
The ISGLS definition of bile leak after liver surgery appears robust and intra-operative drain usage did not prevent the need for subsequent drain placement.