There is debate on optimal techniques that reduce bile duct injury during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). A national survey of Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (AUGIS) members was carried out to determine current surgical practice for gallstones, including the use of intra-operative cholangiography (IOC) or critical view of safety to reduce the risk of bile duct injury.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
An anonymous postal survey was sent to all 417 AUGIS members. Data on grade of surgeon, place of work (district general hospital, teaching), subspecialty, number LC per year, use of IOC, critical view of safety, and management of stones detected during surgery were collated.
There was a 36% (152/417) response – 134 (88%) from consultant surgeons (36, HPB; 106,OG; 64, DGH; 88, teaching hospital). Of these, 38% performed > 100 LC per year, 36% 50–100 LC per year, and 22% 25–50 LC per year. IOC was routine for 24%; and selective for 72%. Critical view of Calot's triangle was advocated by 82%. Overall, 55% first clip and divide the cystic artery, whereas 41% first clip and divide the cystic duct. Some 39% recommend IOC and 23% pre-oper-ative MRCP if dilated common bile duct (CBD) is noted on pre-operative ultrasound. When bile duct stones are identified on IOC, 61% perform laparoscopic CBD exploration (LCBDE), 25% advise postoperative ERCP, and 13% perform either LCBDE or ERCP. Overall, 88% (n = 134) recommend index cholecystectomy for acute pathology, and this is more likely in a teaching hospital setting (P= 0.003). Laparoscopic CBD exploration was more likely to be performed in university hospitals (P< 0.05).
A wide dissection of Calot's triangle to provide a critical view of safety is the technique most commonly recommended by AUGIS surgeons (83%) to minimise risk of bile duct injury, in contrast to 24% that recommend routine IOC. The majority (88%) of AUGIS surgeons advise index admission cholecystectomy for acute gallbladder disease.