Laparoscopic Choledochotomy in Management of Choledocholithiasis

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PurposeLaparoscopic choledochotomy on patients indicated for common bile duct exploration was carried out according to an algorithm for managing choledocholithiasis. This study describes retrospectively our method and evaluates a new cystic duct biliary decompression cannula (J-tube) as an alternative to the T-tube.MethodsPatients with confirmed choledocholithiasis (n=46) underwent laparoscopic choledochotomy. The T-tube was inserted in cases with suspected retained stones after common bile duct clearance, and the J-tube (950-mm long, 4 Fr) with a tapered and J-shaped segment at the distal end was inserted in other cases.ResultsOnly 1 case was converted to open surgery (success rate, 97.8%); the J-tube was inserted in 30 patients and the T-tube in 15. The median operation time, hospital stay, and the interval until removal of the tube were significantly shorter with J-tube than with T-tube cases. Bile leakage after surgery occurred in 4 J-tube and 2 T-tube cases with one residual stone in each case.ConclusionsThe transcystic decompression tube is easily and safely inserted with the J-kit. Among several strategies currently available for the management of choledocholithiasis, laparoscopic choledochotomy with the use of the J-tube is one of the safest and most feasible methods.

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