Background: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the standard of care for symptomatic cholelithiasis, but it is associated with a higher incidence of bile duct injury than the open approach. Methods: A review was performed of the English language literature on the management of bile duct injury listed on Medline databases. Results and conclusion: There is consensus that careful dissection and correct interpretation of the anatomy avoids the complication of bile duct injury during cholecystectomy. Routine intraoperative cholangiography is associated with a lower incidence and early recognition of bile duct injury. Early detection and repair is associated with an improved outcome, and the minimum standard of care after the recognition of a bile duct injury is immediate referral to a surgeon experienced in bile duct injury repair. Surgery provides the mainstay of treatment, with proximal hepaticojejunostomy Roux en Y being the operation of choice; a selective role for endoscopic or radiological treatment exists. The outcome after bile duct injury remains poor, especially in relation to the initial expectation of the cholecystectomy. Patients are often committed to a decade of follow-up. Copyright (copyright) 2006 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd.
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