Endoscopic sphincterotomy and temporary internal stenting for bile leaks following complex hepatic trauma

N. Lubezky, F. M. Konikoff, D. Rosin, E. Carmon, Y. Kluger, M. Ben-Haim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Biliary leak secondary to blunt or penetrating hepatic trauma and damage to the intrahepatic biliary tree remains a challenging problem. The role and safety of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and stenting in this setting were studied. Methods: All trauma victims who developed a bile leak secondary to hepatic trauma were included. Bile leak was defined as the appearance of bile in a surgical wound or intra-abdominal drain after surgery, following percutaneous drainage of a perihepatic bile collection, or evidence of a leak on hepatobiliary scintigraphy. ERCP was performed within 24 h of diagnosis and included biliary sphincterotomy and internal stenting. Recovery was defined as cessation of leakage. Results: Between 1996 and 2004, six patients with penetrating injuries and five with blunt abdominal injuries were treated according to the study protocol. Eight underwent surgery to control bleeding or for additional intra-abdominal injuries. All bile leaks resolved completely within 10 days of ERCP. One patient died from pulmonary sepsis; ten recovered without hepatobiliary sequelae. Conclusion: ERCP, biliary sphincterotomy and temporary internal stenting, together with percutaneous drainage of intra-abdominal or intrahepatic bile collections, represent a safe and effective strategy for the management of bile leaks following both blunt and penetrating hepatic trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-81
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


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