Printer Friendly

Use of rigid nephroscope in open common bile duct exploration--our experience.


Gall bladder stones and Common Bile Duct (CBD) stones affect significant proportion of human population. About 15% of people with gallstone develop stones in the Common bile duct. (1) The incidence is even higher in older ages and 20 to 25% of patients older than 60 who have gallstone disease present with concurrent choledochal stones. It may result in complete or incomplete bile duct obstruction and manifest with cholangitis or gallstone pancreatitis. (2) Choledocholithiasis is one of the medical conditions leading to surgical intervention. It is managed either by endoscopic sphincterotomy or surgical exploration.

Despite advancements in gall bladder surgery with the introduction of endoscopic and laparoscopic technique, many surgeons, especially in the developing world, still perform open cholecystectomy with CBD exploration for choledocholithiasis. (3)

Traditionally, CBD stones are retrieved with Desjardin forceps through choledochotomy and closed over T-tube, but potential of complications and residual stones exist with this therapeutic modality. These lead to prolonged hospital stay and need again for treatment of residual stone. (4)

In 1991, Petelin et al first described laparoscopic surgery of common bile duct stone. The technique has evolved since then and several studies have concluded that Laparoscopic Common Bile Duct Exploration (LCBDE) procedures are superior to sequential endoscopic treatment. (5) LCBDE is done using flexible choledoschoscope or rigid scopes. Most of them use rigid nephroscope instead of flexible choledoschoscope, getting good results since flexible choledoschoscope is very costly and maintenance is difficult. With the help of this technique of using rigid scope in LCBDE, we present our experience of open common bile duct exploration using rigid nephroscope to assess the feasibility, safety and complete stones clearance in the setting of recently established medical college where no facility for laparoscopic CBDE.


A total of 30 patients of choledocholithiasis, 25 females and 5 males underwent open CBD exploration after choledochotomy with rigid nephroscope between March 2012 to March 2015 followed by cholecystectomy at the Department of Surgery, JNIMS, Imphal. All the patients were investigated. As a protocol, ultrasound of whole abdomen was repeated in our institute for those patients who were evaluated outside JNIMS. MRCP was done in almost all the patients (Fig. 1).

4 patients had post cholecystectomy choledocholithiasis and 26 patients had cholelithiasis with choledocholithiasis. The minimum duct diameter was 10 mm.

22 patients had preoperative jaundice which was treated with antibiotic, IV glucose, Vitamin K, etc. and taken for surgery after one week.

Intraoperative finding, time taken for surgery and postoperative complications were taken into consideration.


All the patients were operated through right sub-costal incision. After choledochotomy, the rigid nephroscope (Fig. 2) is inserted to visualise interior of the bile duct proximally till both the right and left hepatic ducts interior are visible and distally till Ampulla of Vater is visible with continuous irrigation.

Any stones which were found were removed by rigid grasping forceps under direct vision through scope. Some of the stones were fractured and pushed into the duodenum with rigid forceps. Then biliary stent of 7F 10 cm length is inserted and choledochotomy is closed primarily with vicryl 3-0. A subhepatic drain was kept in all the cases, which were removed when there was less than 50 mL serous fluid.

All the patients were routinely given IV third generation cephalosporin for 3 days and converted to oral antibiotic and discharged on 5th postoperative day. They were asked to come after one month for endoscopic removal of biliary stent.

Patient's demographic, intraoperative finding, operative time, duration of hospital stay and post-operative complications were recorded on a Performa.


Of the 30 patients who underwent open common bile duct exploration using rigid nephroscope, 29 patients had secondary stones and only one patient had primary stone formed over the migrated clip following laparoscopic cholecystectomy after 6 years (Fig. 3).

There were 25 females and 5 males with the ratio of 5:1. The age ranges from 15 to 70 years with the mean of 42.5 years.

Majority of the patients have single stone, 5 patients have more than 3 stones and 1 patient has large impacted stone at the distal CBD (Fig. 4 and Fig. 5 and 6)

Stone clearance is 100% and complications related to the procedure were not observed.

Operative time ranged from 70 to 100 minutes with the average of 85 minutes.

There were no intraoperative complications in any of the patients. In all the patients, drain was removed on the 2nd postoperative day and discharged on 4th or 5th post-operative day. None of the patients had any postoperative complications and no morality in our study. Biliary stent was removed after one month by endoscopy. (Fig. 9) No patients had any complaints during the followup.


There is dispute regarding the optimal treatment for concomitant gallstones and CBD stone. (6,7,8) The traditional approaches of open common bile duct exploration have been replaced by newer, less invasive procedures. The principle minimally invasive options in the treatment of CBD stones include ERCP with endoscopic stone extraction and laparoscopic CBD exploration. (9)

However, these minimally invasive approaches are not widely practiced in many developing countries due to the lack of equipment and trained endoscopists. Even in the developed world in rural settings, there is lack of equipment for these techniques. (10) There are several drawbacks of this approach, even though this is effective and safe. Surgeons are often left with no option other than to continue the practice of open CBD exploration due to unavailability of trained Endoscopist in ERCP and lack of skill experience laparoscopic surgeons. Furthermore, a Cochrane database review published in 2006 has suggested that ERCP was less successful than open surgery in CBD stone clearance and was associated with a higher mortality. (11) There is also an increased recurrence rate of CBD stones following endoscopic removal. (10) The success rate for stone clearance is 87% to 97%, but up to 25% of patients require two or more ERCP treatments. (12) ERCP was less successful compared with open surgery in CDB stone clearance.

LCBDE is a demanding technique with a long learning curve, (13) which has replaced open CBD exploration. LCBDE has been proven to be a safe, reliable, effective and single stage procedure for the treatment for CBD stones. LCBDE has become the main treatment for CBD stones associated with cholelithiasis. (14) The UK guidelines recommended LCBDE as the treatment of choice for patient with CBD stones undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy. (15) However, successful stone clearance rates for LCBDE range from 85% to 95% with a morbidity rate of 4% to 16% and mortality of 0% to 2%. (16) A major problem for patients who undergo LCBDE by choledochotomy are biliary leakage and biliary stricture. Biliary leakage occurred in only 6% of patients. (17) In our study, common bile duct exploration with the use of rigid nephroscope, rate of stone clearance is 100% without any morbidity and mortality (Fig. 7 and 8).

For many years open CBD exploration has been the main treatment modality for CBD stones. It is also performed frequently at the present time. (18) Our institute is also still performing open CBD exploration, as there is no facility for ERCP and Laparoscopic CBD exploration.

ERCP is difficult for removing a large stone. Open surgery is indicated for large stone and when ERCP fails, for which choledochoscope or any rigid scope is useful and easier to inspect CBD. With the use of mechanical lithotripsy, the success rate for removing CBD stone can be improved even with large or impacted stones. Garg et al, over a 4 years period achieved a success rate of only 79% for removing CBD stone even after using mechanical lithotripsy. (19) Due to limitations of flexible choledoschoscope like high cost and unable to retrieve very big stones, many surgeons using rigid nephroscope with good results. Sarkar et al and Khan et al have shown that rigid nephroscope is superior to flexible choledoschoscope in removing large stones and is cost effective. (20,21) We were also using rigid nephroscope in many patients for open CBD exploration with good results in terms of complete stone clearance without any complications. This instrument is usually available at all surgical centres. It is robust, has large working channel and vision is excellent. One can pass stout forceps through it to remove calculi and thus ensure 100% stone clearance irrespective of size, hardness or degree of impaction of the stone. It has been reported that CBD stone clearance rate of traditional open CBDE is 83.3% to 88.8%. (22,23) Our experience with the use of rigid scope is very encouraging and seems to be safe and highly effective.


Rigid nephroscope can also be used in open common bile duct exploration. It is safe and feasible with the achievement of complete stone clearance without any complication. It is an efficacious procedure in dealing with unsuccessful endoscopic stone extraction and centre having no facility for Laparoscopic common bile duct exploration.


(1.) Jelaso DV, Hirschfield JS. Jaundice from impacted sediment in a T tube: recognition and treatment. Am J Roentgenol 1976; 127(3):413-5.

(2.) Oddsdottir M, Pham TH, Hunter JG. Gallbladder and extra hepatic biliary system. 9th edn. In: Brunicardi FC. (edr) Schwart's principles of surgery. United States of America: Mc Graw-Hill 2010:1148.

(3.) Bingener J, Schwesinger WH. Management of common bile duct stones in a rural area of the United States: results of a survey. Surg Endosc 2006; 20(4):577-9.

(4.) Moreaux J. Traditional surgical management of common bile duct stones: a prospective study during a 20-years experience. Am J Surg 1995; 169(2):220-6.

(5.) Petelin JB. Laparoscopic approach to common duct pathology. Surg Endosco 1991; 1(1):33-41.

(6.) Rogers SJ, Cell JP, Horn JK, et al. Prospective randomized trial of LC+LCBDE vs ERCP/S+LC for common bile duct stone disease. Arch Surg 2010; 145(1):28-33.

(7.) Wright BE, Freeman ML, Cumming JK, et al. Current management of common bile dust stones: is there a role for laparoscopic cholecystectomy and intraoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography as a single-stage procedure? Surgery 2002; 132(4):729-35.

(8.) Poulose BK, Speroff T, Holzman MD. Optimizing choledocholithiasis management: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Arch Surg 2007; 142(1):43-8.

(9.) Tranter SE, Thompson MH. Comparision of endoscopic sphincterotomy and laparoscopic exploration of common bile duct. Br J Surg 2002; 89(12):1495-504.

(10.) Sikic N, Tutek Z, Strikic N. Primary suture vs T-tube after common bile exploration (our 25 years of experience). Pregl Lek 2000; 57(5):143-5.

(11.) Martin DJ, Vernon DR, Toouli J. Surgical versus endoscopic treatment of bile duct stones. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006; 2:CD003327.

(12.) Shojaiefard A, Esmaeilzadeh M, Ghafouri A, et al. Various techniques for the surgical treatment of common bile duct stones: a meta review. Gastroenterol Res Pract 2009; 2009:840208.

(13.) Vecchio R, MacFadyen BV. Laparoscopic common bile duct exploration. Langenbecks Arch Surg 2002; 387(1):45-54.

(14.) Dorman JP, Franklin ME. Laparoscopic common bile duct exploration by choledochotomy. Semin Laparosc Surg 1997; 4(1):34-41.

(15.) Williams EJ, Green J, Beckingham I, et al. Guidelines on the management of common bile duct stones (CBDS). Gut 2008; 57:1004-21.

(16.) Thompson MH, Tranter SE. All-comers policy for laparoscopic exploration of the common bile duct. Br J Surg 2002; 89(12):1608-12.

(17.) Hyung ML, Seog KM, Hyeon KL. Long-term results of laparoscopic common bile duct exploration by choledochotomy for choledocholithiasis: 15-year experience from a single center. Ann Surg Treat Res 2014; 86(1):1-6.

(18.) Verbesey JE, Birkett DH. Common bile duct exploration for choledocholethiasis. Surg Clin N Am 2008; 88(6):1315-28.

(19.) Garg PK, Tandon RK, Ahuja V, et al. Predictors of unsuccessful mechanical lithotripsy and endoscopic clearance of large bile duct stones. Gastrointest Endosc 2004; 59(6):601-5.

(20.) Sarkar S, Sadhu S, Janhangir T, et al. Laparoscopic common bile duct exploration using a rigid nephroscope. Br J Surg 2009; 96(4):412-16.

(21.) Khan M, Qadri SJ, Nazir SS. Use of rigid nephroscope for laparoscopic common bile duct exploration-a single center experience. World J Surg 2010; 34(4):784-90.

(22.) Hacker KA, Schultz CC, Helling TS. Choledochotomy for calculus disease in the elderly. Am J Surg 1990; 160(6):610-12.

(23.) Miller BM, Kozarek RA, Ryan JA, et al. Surgical verse endoscopic management of common bile duct stones. Ann Surg 1988; 207(2):135-41.

S. Robindro Singh [1], S. ShyamchandSingh [2], T. Tozo Luwang [3]

[1] Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences, Porompat, Imphal, Manipur.

[2] Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences, Porompat, Imphal, Manipur.

[3] Senior Resident, Department of Surgery, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences, Porompat, Imphal, Manipur.

Financial or Other, Competing Interest: None.

Submission 12-09-2016, Peer Review 07-10-2016, Acceptance 12-10-2016, Published 19-10-2016.

Corresponding Author:

S. Robindro Singh, SingjameiSougrakpam Leikai, Imphal West, Manipur-795008. E-mail:

DOI: 10.14260/jemds/2016/1414
COPYRIGHT 2016 Akshantala Enterprises Private Limited
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Original Research Article
Author:Singh, S. Robindro; Singh, S. Shyamchand; Luwang, T. Tozo
Publication:Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences
Article Type:Report
Date:Oct 20, 2016
Previous Article:Two dimensional versus three dimensional imaging in endodontics--an updated review.
Next Article:A study of role of immediate tracheostomy in critically ill adult patients in an ICU of tertiary hospital of Andhra Pradesh.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters