Laparoscopic Management of Concomitant Gallstones and Common Bile Duct Stones – Current Practice and Our Experience


Despite many advances in the last decades the optimal treatment for concomitant gallstones and common bile duct (CBD) stones is still controversial. While for the asymptomatic gallbladder stones the need for surgery is still under debate, there is large consensus regarding the indication to remove the CBD stones, which appear to be associated in 3-10% of patients (1). Before the laparoscopic era the standard treatment for CBD stones was open cholecystectomy and CBD exploration. For the patients unfit for surgery, or with severe complica-tions such as acute cholangitis, jaundice and pancreatitis, ERCP with endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) and stone extraction was a valuable, seldom stand alone, life saving, alternative. With the advent of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) in 1987-1988, new techniques added to the armamentarium of CBD stones treatment. Reddick & Olsen (2,3) sustained the ERCP with endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) and stone extraction as early as 1990
Petelin (4), introduced almost simultaneously, the laparoscopic CBD exploration (LCBDE). The current standards of practice recognise 3 options: the combined laparo-endoscopic, the totally laparoscopic and the open approach.