Intraoperative Sonography of Biliary Tree During Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

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SummaryThe use of routine cholangiography during laparoscopic cholecystectomy is still under debate. Previous reports have suggested that intraoperative sonography can replace cholangiography in the evaluation of common duct lithiasis during open cholecystectomy. The present study was performed to evaluate the possible role of sonography during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Thirty patients underwent intraoperative sonography of the biliary tree during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. In cases with a diagnosis of common bile duct lithiasis, intraoperative cholangiography was performed. In 26 cases, sonography did not show the presence of stones; in three cases, stones were identified at both sonography and cholangiography; in one case, stones were diagnosed by sonography alone. In this last case, stones were confirmed on later review of cholangiogram. No complications related to the method were observed. We suggest that intraoperative sonography can represent an adequate substitute for intraoperative cholangiography as a screening procedure for stone identification during laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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