Minimally invasive management of bile leak after laparoscopic cholecystectomy

G. Tzovaras, P. Peyser, L. Kow, T. Wilson, R. Padbury, J. Toouli

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

27 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-168
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Bile leak
  • ERCP
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy


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