Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the current practice patterns and results for use of intraoperative cholangiogram (IOC) during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). Methods: We performed a retrospective review of all patients who underwent LC between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2009. Data variables included: preoperative laboratory and radiographic studies, indication for and findings of IOC, and perioperative management of choledocholithiasis and retained common bile duct (CBD) stones. Results: There were 1,308 patients who underwent LC by 23 surgeons, of whom 266 also had an IOC (20%) performed. The majority had ultrasonography performed, 242 had an abdominal compute tomography (CT) scan, and 129 patients had a hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan. Indications for an IOC included: diagnosis of choledocholithiasis or gallstone pancreatitis (n = 116), abnormal liver function tests (n = 187), and a dilated CBD ≥10 mm (n = 182). Of the 266 IOCs, 36 patients (13.5%) had a CBD stone with the majority (n = 26; 72%) having normal preoperative imaging studies. Only 6 patients (17%) with a CBD calculi on IOC underwent successful clearance of the calculi at the time of LC. Twenty-nine of the remaining 30 patients with a retained calculus on IOC underwent postoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with extraction of the calculi. Of the 1,042 LCs performed without an IOC, 31 patients (3%) were diagnosed with a retained stone managed successfully by ERCP. Conclusion: Our data reveals that the selective use of IOC is helpful in diagnosing and clearing CBD calculi, that the use of preoperative CBD size aids in selecting patients for IOC, and that choledocholithiasis identified with IOC or after discharge can be managed successfully with ERCP.
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