Comparison between primary closure and T-tube drainage after open choledocotomy

Alireza Barband, Farzad Kakaei, Morteza Ghojazadeh, Abdolhamid Chavoshi Khamneh, Morteza Chavoshi Khamneh, Sina Zarrintan


Background: Common Bile Duct (CBD) exploration for choledocolithiasis is usually closed after T-tube insertion. However, complications of T-tube insertion limit its use. In the present study, we wanted to compare outcomes between primary repair of choledocotomy and traditional T-tube insertion. Material and methods: Thirty patients with CBD stones disease admitted at Sina and Imam Reza hospitals of Tabriz, from April 2012 to February 2013, were included in this study.  The patients were randomly divided into two groups: T-tube drainage group and primary closure group. Intraoperative findings and postoperative complications were recorded and analyzed. Results: There was no mortality and retained stones in both groups. Two of 15 patients in the T-tube group and four of 15 patients in primary closure group suffered from minor bile leakage. There was no major bile leakage in the T-tube group but one patient in the primary closure group had major bile leakage, which was treated conservatively without surgical or endoscopic intervention. Wound infection was seen in two patients in the T-tube group and one patient in the primary closure group. In follow up assessment, there was no intra-abdominal collection in both groups. Overall postoperative complications include biliary complications, wound infection and intra-abdominal collections, were seen in four patients in the T-tube group and six patients in primary closure group; that was not statically significant difference. Conclusion: primary closure of CBD after open choledocotomy is feasible and is as safe as T-tube insertion. In effect, primary closure avoids T-tube insertion and disadvantages associated with the use of T-tube. Primary closure can be recommended for selected patients with CBD stone disease.


Key words: common bile duct stones; choledocotomy; T-tube drainage; primary closure

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