Background: Though rare, bile duct injuries (BDI) during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) represent a major potential complication with significant associated morbidity. The objectives of this study were to (1) assess the national use of LC and incidence of BDI over time in the pediatric surgical population, (2) measure the added resource utilization burden associated with BDI, and (3) identify patient and hospital factors associated with BDI.
Methods: All patients 0 to 20 years of age undergoing cholecystectomy were identified in the Kids' Inpatients Database from 1997 to 2006. National rates of LC use and BDI as well as overall costs were assessed using weighted estimates. Factors associated with BDI were analyzed with a logistic regression model.
Results: Of 31,653 patients undergoing cholecystectomy, 28,243 (89.2%) underwent LC. Over time, the proportion of LC has risen from 81% in 1997 to 91% in 2006 (P < .001). Of patients undergoing LC, 0.44% had BDI with no significant change of BDI rate over time. Length of stay was 6.1 days for patients with BDI compared to 3.3 days for those without injury (P < .001). BDI patients had median costs of US $9550 as compared to US $6030 for non-BDI patients (P < .001). After taking patient, hospital, and disease-specific factors into consideration, BDI was more common in patients 5 years of age or less, nonwhite patients, and in patients admitted under an elective setting (all P < .01).
Conclusions: With increasing LC use, BDI remains a rare yet resource intense complication in children. Age, race, and admission related factors are associated with BDI and may provide guidance toward improving outcomes.