Lighting the Way with Fluorescent Cholangiography in Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: Reviewing 7 Years of Experience

J Am Coll Surg. 2022 Nov 1;235(5):713-723. doi: 10.1097/XCS.0000000000000314. Epub 2022 Oct 17.


Background: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy with fluorescent cholangiography using indocyanine green dye (FC) identifies extrahepatic biliary structures, potentially augmenting the critical view of safety. We aim to describe trends for the largest single-center cohort of patients undergoing FC in laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Study design: A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database identified patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy with FC at a single academic institution. Patient factors included age, sex, BMI, and American Society of Anesthesiologists score. Outcomes included operative time, conversion to open procedure, biliary injury, length of stay, and complications.

Results: A total of 828 patients underwent FC. Of these, 74.3% were female, the mean age was 50.4 years, and the average BMI 28.8 kg/m 2 . Mean operating room time was 68.6 minutes. There were no mortalities or common bile duct injuries. Morbidities included 4 bile leaks and 1 retained stone. Six patients required conversion to an open approach. Operative time, length of stay, and open conversion significantly decreased after a standard indocyanine green protocol (p < 0.05). Compared with white light, FC demonstrated lower operative times (99 vs 68 minutes), length of stay (1.4 vs 0.4 days), open conversions (8% vs 0.7%), emergency department visits (13% vs 8%) and drain placements (12% vs 3%) (all p < 0.05). Patients with BMI greater than 30 saw elevated operative times and length of stay.

Conclusions: In conclusion, this paper demonstrates improved operative outcomes with the use of FC through the consistent ability to delineate biliary anatomy, even in the setting of complex anatomy. No common bile duct injuries have occurred in our 7-year experience with FC. We recommend FC as the standard of care when performing laparoscopic cholecystectomies.

MeSH terms

  • Bile Duct Diseases* / etiology
  • Cholangiography / methods
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic* / adverse effects
  • Coloring Agents
  • Common Bile Duct
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green