BACKGROUND: The 1990s were associated with a dramatic increase in bile duct injuries with the widespread use of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). Interventional radiology has an integral role in diagnosing and managing these injuries. Definitive percutaneous management with balloon dilatation might be possible in select patients with intact biliary-enteric continuity, but longterm data are limited. STUDY DESIGN: Data were collected prospectively on 51 consecutive patients with major bile duct stricture or injury associated with LC, treated with percutaneous management, January 1, 1990, to December 31, 1999. Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography and biliary catheter placement were followed by balloon dilatation and stenting. Outcomes were assessed with direct patient contact or hospital records. RESULTS: All patients completed treatment, and 50 (98%) were stent free at mean followup of 76 months. The success rate of percutaneous management was 58.8%, without need for subsequent intervention. Presenting symptoms, level of injury, and number of stents or dilatations did not predict outcomes. Percutaneous treatment was more likely to fail in patients stented for less than 4 months (p < 0.001). Operative repair at Hopkins before percutaneous management was predictive of a successful outcome (p < 0.05). Including subsequent operations or percutaneous management, successful outcomes were achieved in 98% of patients. CONCLUSIONS: Major bile duct injuries after LC remain a clinical challenge. Although surgical reconstruction is the treatment cornerstone, selected patients with biliary-enteric continuity can achieve successful long-term results with definitive percutaneous management. The combination of percutaneous management and surgical reconstruction results in successful outcomes in virtually all patients.
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