Introduction: Postcholecystectomy syndrome (PCS) as a result of remnant cystic duct lithiasis (RCDL), or gallstones within the cystic duct after cholecystectomy, can cause persistent or recurrent symptoms after cholecystectomy.
Study design: A retrospective descriptive analysis was performed for all patients with RDCL at a single institution between 2001 and 2012. Details of presentation, diagnosis, and surgical and endoscopic treatments, and outcomes were collected and analyzed.
Results: Twelve patients with RCDL were identified. The interval between cholecystectomy to RCDL discovery was 34.2 months (range 0.5-168 months). On a standard liver enzyme panel, 75% of patients had derangements in ≥1 indices, with the most common single laboratory test abnormality occurring in gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) (80%). Eight operative reports noted that the cystic duct was noticeably dilated at the time of cholecystectomy. Two patients developed a cystic duct leak (Strasberg type A bile duct injury) postoperatively, which was managed nonoperatively. Six cases of RCDL required surgery, and six were managed endoscopically.
Conclusion: RCDL is a potential cause of postcholecystectomy syndrome, but the true incidence is unknown. Laboratory analysis and imaging are helpful in establishing the diagnosis of RCDL. Endoscopic therapy has a role in the treatment of RCDL, but surgical excision of the remnant cystic duct lithiasis may be required.