Laparoscopic transcystic duct common bile duct exploration

Surg Endosc. 2006 Apr;20 Suppl 2:S441-5. doi: 10.1007/s00464-006-0029-0. Epub 2006 Mar 16.


The modern era of common bile duct (CBD) surgery started with Mirizzi, who introduced intraoperative cholangiography in 1932. Intraoperative choledoscopy had been developed as an adjunctive to intraoperative cholangiography, which helped to detect CBD stones in an additional 10% to 15% of instances that otherwise would have been missed. Findings have shown choledochoscopy to be an important technique for efficient and effective management of CBD stones. Efforts to treat patients with common duct stones in one session and to avoid the potential complications of endoscopic sphincterotomy resulted in several laparoscopic transcystic CBD (LTCBDE) techniques. The techniques of transcystic stone extraction include lavage, trolling with wire baskets or biliary balloon catheters, cystic duct dilation, biliary endoscopy, and stone retrieval with wire baskets under direct vision and antegrade sphincterotomy, lithotripsy, and catheter techniques. The indications for LTCBDE are filling or equivocal defects at cholangiography, stones smaller than 10 mm, fewer than 9 stones, and possible tumor. The contraindications are stones larger than 1 cm, stones proximal to the cystic duct entrance into the CBD, small friable cystic duct, and 10 or more stones. Experience with LTCBDE shows that the approach is applicable in more than 85% of cases, with a success rate of 85% to 95%. It also is shown to be more cost effective than postoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Recent developments in LTCBDE have focused mainly on implementation of robotically assisted surgery and new imaging methods such as magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography with three-dimensional virtual cholangioscopy and three-dimensional ultrasound. Further technological advances will facilitate the application of laparoscopic approaches to the common duct, which should become the primary strategy for the great majority of patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ampulla of Vater / surgery
  • Catheterization
  • Cholangiography / methods
  • Choledocholithiasis / diagnosis
  • Choledocholithiasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Choledocholithiasis / surgery*
  • Common Bile Duct / surgery*
  • Common Bile Duct Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Common Bile Duct Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Common Bile Duct Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Cystic Duct
  • Fluoroscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopes
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography, Interventional / methods