BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to assess the role of the referral pattern and the timing of the surgical procedure on outcome after reconstructive surgery for bile duct injury (BDI). SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: BDI after laparoscopic cholecystectomy remains a major problem in current surgical practice. Controversy exists about the influence of previous interventions before referral and the timing of repair on outcome. METHODS: Of 500 patients referred to a tertiary center, 151 patients (30.2%) underwent reconstructive surgery for BDI. The influence of referral pattern was analyzed by defining patients as primary and secondary referred patients. The influence of timing of repair was investigated by categorizing 3 groups of patients: A, acute repair; B, delayed repair; and C, late repair. RESULTS: Hospital mortality was zero. Perioperative complications occurred in 29 patients (19.2%): in 26.4% in secondary referred patients and 7.9% in primary referred patients (P = 0.04). Perioperative complications occurred in group A in 33.3%, in group B in 15.6%, and in group C in 22.5% (P = 0.22). Postoperative strictures occurred significantly more often in patients operated in the acute phase (P < 0.01) and in secondary referred patients (P = 0.03). A multivariate analysis identified 3 independent negative predictive factors for outcome: extended injury in the biliary tree (odds ratio = 3.70; confidence interval, 1.32-10.34), secondary referral (odds ratio = 4.35; confidence interval, 1.12-16.76), and repair in the acute phase after injury (odds ratio = 5.44; confidence interval, 1.2-24.43). CONCLUSIONS: Reconstructive surgery for the treatment of BDI is associated with acceptable morbidity and no mortality. Extended injury to the bile duct, referral to a tertiary center after therapeutic interventions, and acute repair are independent negative predictors on outcome after reconstructive surgery for BDI.

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Journal Annals of Surgery
de Reuver, P.R, Grossmann, I, Busch, O.R.C, Obertop, H, van Gulik, T.M, & Gouma, D.J. (2007). Referral pattern and timing of repair are risk factors for complications after reconstructive surgery for bile duct injury. Annals of Surgery, 245(5), 763–770. doi:10.1097/01.sla.0000252442.91839.44