Clin Endosc.  2014 May;47(3):248-253. 10.5946/ce.2014.47.3.248.

Endoscopic Management of Bile Leakage after Cholecystectomy: A Single-Center Experience for 12 Years

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


Bile leakage is an uncommon but serious complication of cholecystectomy. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of the endoscopic management of bile leakage after cholecystectomy.
A total of 32 patients who underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), because of bile leakage after cholecystectomy, from January 2000 to December 2012 were reviewed retrospectively. The clinical parameters, types of management, and procedure-related complications were documented.
Most bile leakages presented as percutaneous bile drainage through a Hemovac (68.8%), followed by abdominal pain (18.8%). The sites of bile leaks were the cystic duct stump in 25 patients, intrahepatic ducts in four, liver beds in two, and the common bile duct in one. Biliary stenting with or without sphincterotomy was performed in 22 and eight patients, respectively. Of the four cases of bile leak combined with bile duct stricture, one patient had severe bile duct obstruction and the others had mild stricture. Concerning endoscopic modalities, endoscopic therapy for bile leak was successful in 30 patients (93.8%). Two patients developed transient post-ERCP pancreatitis, which was mild, and both recovered without clinical sequelae.
The endoscopic approach of ERCP should be considered a primary modality for the diagnosis and treatment of bile leakage after cholecystectomy.


Bile leak; Sphincterotomy, endoscopic; Cholecystectomy, laparoscopic
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