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Postoperative choledochoscopic removal of intrahepatic stones via a T tube tract

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Background The management of primary intrahepatic stones is extremely difficult. During operation it is often difficult to remove all the stones. The postoperative T tube tract provides an invaluable access to the intrahepatic system.

Methods This paper reports a retrospective review of postoperative choledochoscopic removal of intrahepatic stones in a series of 44 patients. Special emphasis is placed on the result of the procedure and on the long-term outcome of patients.

Results Overall, the procedure was successful in 22 of the 44 patients. Presence of strictures was associated significantly with failure rate (P=0·002). There were complications in five patients; most subsided with conservative management. However, there was one procedure-related death in the series. Some 28 patients were followed for 16-115 months. The long-term outcome was significantly related to the success rate of choledochoscopic stone removal (P=0·03).

Conclusion All intrahepatic stones should be removed. T tube choledochoscopy is the preferred method for treating retained intrahepatic stones. This should be supplemented with other modalities of treatment, such as endoscopic and radiological approaches, especially in patients with strictures.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gascoigne Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Publication date: September 1, 1997

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