Quality-of-life after bile duct injury: intraoperative detection is crucial. A national case-control study

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Background Existing reports on quality-of-life (QoL) after bile duct injury (BDI) are conflicting. Methods Case-control study were QoL assessment was performed using SF-36 (36-item short Form health survey). Patients with BDI were compared to a matched control group (1:2) subject to cholecystectomy. Results In total 168 BDIs (0.3%) were eligible for participation and 64% returned SF-36. Median follow-up was 4.3 years. Intraoperative cholangiography was performed/attempted in 93% of BDI patients and 92% were diagnosed intraoperatively. Lesions <5 mm dominated (59%) and QoL was comparable for BDIs and controls (physical composite score PCS; p = 0.052 and mental composite score MCS; p = 0.478). Patients with an immediate intraoperative repair reported a better PCS than patients subjected to a later repair and/or referral (p = 0.002). No difference in SF-36 was detected when the BDI was repaired by the index compared to non-index surgeon (PCS p = 0.446, MCS p = 0.525). Conclusion QoL after bile duct injury is comparable to uneventful cholecystectomy, as long as the injury is diagnosed intraoperatively. Immediate repair, in this cohort of mainly minor injuries, also performed by the index surgeon, resulted in similar QoL as in the control group. We suggest liberal use of cholangiography for early detection of BDI, and intraoperative repair whenever possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1016
Number of pages7
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery


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