Background: Bile leakage is an uncommon complication of cholecystectomy. The bile may originate from the gallbladder bed, the cystic duct or rarely from injury to a major bile duct. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of minimal access endoscopic and percutaneous techniques in treating symptomatic bile leak. Patients and methods: Twenty-one patients with symptomatic bile leak following laparoscopic cholecystectomy underwent assessment of the extent of the bile leak via ultrasound/CT and ERCP. Following diagnosis, the patients were treated by sphincterotomy and biliary drainage and, if necessary, percutaneous drainage of the bile collection. Results: Only one patient required primary surgical treatment following diagnosis of a major duct injury. The other 20 were treated by a combination of sphincterotomy (including a stent in most) plus percutaneous drainage in six. In 19 of 20, this minimal access approach stopped the leak. Discussion: Most patients who present with bile leakage after cholecystectomy can be managed successfully by means of ERCP with percutaneous drainage of any large bile collection.
- Bile leak
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomy