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Original Article
February 1998

Biliary Complications After Hepatic Resection: Risk Factors, Management, and Outcome

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China.

Arch Surg. 1998;133(2):156-161. doi:10.1001/archsurg.133.2.156
Abstract

Objective  To identify the risk factors for the development of biliary complications after hepatic resection and to evaluate management in relation to the outcomes of these patients.

Design  Biliary complications are a common cause of major morbidity after hepatic resection. A survey was made of all patients undergoing hepatic resection at 1 institution. Perioperative risk factors related to the development of biliary complications were identified using multivariate analysis. Management and outcome were analyzed also.

Setting  A tertiary referral center.

Patients  From January 1, 1989, to October 31, 1995, 347 consecutive patients underwent 229 major and 118 minor hepatic resections.

Main Outcome Measure  Development of postoperative biliary complications.

Results  Biliary complications developed in 28 (8.1%) of 347 patients; these complications carried high risks for liver failure (35.7%) and operative mortality (39.3%). Stepwise logistic regression analysis identified increasing age, higher preoperative white blood cell count, left-sided hepatectomy, and prolonged operation time as the independent predictors of development of biliary complications. Conservative treatment or nonoperative measures alone, such as percutaneous drainage or endoscopic therapy, were effective in treating the complication in 13 of 19 patients, but those who required reoperation had a high mortality rate (7 [77.8] of 9 patients). Patients with demonstrable leakage from the common bile duct or its bifurcation tended to have poor outcomes.

Conclusions  Biliary complications are a common and serious cause of morbidity after hepatic resection. Preresection cholangiography for finding biliary tract anomaly is recommended before left-sided hepatectomy. Although nonoperative measures are the preferred approach for selected patients with biliary complications, those with demonstrable leakage from the common bile duct or its bifurcation have a grave prognosis and may benefit from early surgical intervention.

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