Aggressive surgical treatment for cholangiocarcinoma

M. Shimonov*, P. Schecter, Y. Avni, E. Rabin, A. Rosen, A. Czerniak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surgery remains the only curative approach to cholangiocarcinoma. Despite operative difficulties concerning tumor location, vascular involvement or hepatic invasion curative resection (i.e. achievement of tumor free margins) carries good survival rates and is associated with low morbidity and mortality. Our experience with 31 patients with cholangiocarcinoma operated during the years 1993-1999 is presented. Twenty-five patients were found to have hilar cholangiocarcinoma, 3 carcinoma of mid-choledochus and 3 distal cholangiocarcinoma. All patients were evaluated by a diagnostic protocol including laparoscopy and laparoscopic ultrasound. Surgery consisted of local resection of the tumor with Roux en Y hepaticojejunostomy reconstruction. Three patients had concomitant hepatic resection for hilar cholangiocarcinoma while 3 patients had pancreaticoduodenectomy for distal cholangiocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma was diagnosed in all patients. Curative resection was achieved in 19 patients and palliative resection (microscopically involved resected margins) in 12. One patient died at 60 days postop (3.5% mortality). Postoperative complications included cholangitis occurring in 10 patients who were referred with biliary drains, intraabdominal abscess (2 patients) and biliary leakage (1 patient) all treated conservatively. Overall survival rate was 82% at one year, 73% at two years and 45% at 5 years. When comparing curative resection with palliative resection, survival rates were 92% versus 71% for 1 year, 72% versus 50% for 2 year and 57% versus 14% for 5 years. Selection of patients using Laparoscopic Ultrasound combined with aggressive surgical approach enable curative or palliative resection 15 the only treatment modality which is significantly improved survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-482, 566
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2001


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