Laparoscopic Common Bile Duct Exploration

The common bile duct (CBD) is a tube that connects the liver, gallbladder and pancreas to the small intestine. It carries bile juice from the liver and gallbladder to help in digestion of food. Laparoscopic CBD exploration is a procedure used to examine and remove stones blocking the flow of bile.

The laparoscopic CBD exploration is performed under general anesthesia. A dye is passed through the duct (which can be detected using X-ray imaging) to identify the presence of stones. Your surgeon makes 3 to 4 small keyhole incisions on the abdomen. A laparoscope (tube with a light and a tiny camera) is inserted. The camera helps to locate the area of obstruction and allows your surgeon to have a magnified view of the operating field. Surgical instruments are passed through the other incisions to make a cut in the duct and remove the stone. A catheter (narrow tube) may be inserted into the duct to drain the bile out of the body and kept in place temporarily during the healing process. The incisions are closed with sutures.

As with all surgical procedures, laparoscopic CBD exploration may be associated with certain complications, which include bleeding, infection, swelling of the duct, and bile leakage.