During the ten-year period July 1994 to June 2004, 20 patients were seen with iatrogenic bile duct injuries.
The case notes of these patients were reviewed. Half of the patients were referred after initial surgery at other hospitals. At the University Hospital of the West Indies, bile duct injury rate was 0.8% and 1% for open and laparoscopic cholecystectomy respectively. Sixty per cent of patients’ injuries resulted from open cholecystectomy and the majority of these were during emergency cholecystectomies for acute cholecystitis. A wide range of treatment modalities were employed for patients with minor bile duct injuries but Roux en Y hepaticojejunostomy was the treatment of choice for patients with transection of the common hepatic or bile duct. Follow-up was available in seven of nine patients who had major bile duct injury repair to a median of 36 months and all but one were asymptomatic and had normal liver function tests. There were two deaths because of septic complications.