The incidence of common bile duct (CBD) stones is between 10% to 18% in people undergoing cholecystectomy for gallstones. Laparoscopic exploration of the CBD is now becoming routine practice in the elective setting, however its safety and efficacy in emergencies is poorly understood.
We analyzed our results for index emergency admission laparoscopic cholecystectomy within a specialist center in the United Kingdom. Data from all emergency cholecystectomies in our unit, between 2011 to 2016 were collected and analyzed retrospectively.
In total, 494 patients underwent emergency laparoscopic cholecystectomy; 53 (10.7%) patients underwent common bile duct exploration (CBDE), with 1 conversion and 1 bile leak. Indications for CBDE were based on preoperative imaging (41 cases, 81%) or intra-operative cholangiogram (44 cases, 83%) findings.
Index admission laparoscopic cholecystectomy and concomitant CBDE is safe and should be the gold standard treatment for patients presenting with acute biliary complications, reducing readmissions and the need for a 2-stage procedure.