Should T-Tube Drainage be Performed for Choledocholithiasis after Laparoscopic Common Bile Duct Exploration? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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Abstract

Background:

Laparoscopic common bile duct exploration (LCBDE) has been verified to be a comparatively effective treatment approach for uncomplicated choledocholithiasis, and it has been previously proposed that the primary duct closure (PDC) technique, in which the bile duct can directly be sutured in only 1 step compared with the T-tube drainage (TTD), can be deemed a choice after LCBDE; however, the conventional TTD performance is controversial in the minimally invasive surgery era. On the basis of the above-mentioned point, this meta-analysis was conducted to assess the different effects between TTD and PDC after LCBDE.

Materials and Methods:

In PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library, literature search was conducted to screen out randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to compare PDC with TTD. The analyzed outcome variables included overall morbidity, biliary-specific morbidity (retained stones, biliary leak, biliary peritonitis), other morbidities, operating time, postoperative hospital stay, reintervention (surgery, endoscopy/radiology), and median hospital expenses.

Results:

In this meta-analysis, there are 4 RCTs qualifying for inclusion, including 396 patients in all (222 in PDC and 214 in TTD). With respect to postoperative overall morbidity (P<0.05), biliary peritonitis (P<0.05), surgery time (P<0.05), length of stay (P<0.05), and median hospital expenses (P<0.05), PDC presented remarkably better results than TTD (P<0.05). Statistically, no remarkable distinction was found between the 2 groups as to biliary-specific morbidity, retained stones, biliary leak, other morbidities, or reintervention (radiology/endoscopy, surgery).

Conclusions:

In this meta-analysis, there was no evidence provided for clinical benefits of using TTD after LCBDE. Therefore, TTD should not routinely be performed after LCBDE. However, multicenter, large sample size, RCTs should be conducted to clarify this issue.

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