Laparoscopic Common Bile Duct Exploration

Bile is a liquid released by the liver to help digest fats in the foods we eat. The bile duct provides a passage for the bile to flow from the liver to the small intestine. The bile duct can get obstructed partially or completely by gallstones that slip out of the gallbladder. This obstruction disrupts the normal flow of bile from the liver to the small intestine and causes jaundice. Bile duct obstruction can be treated by laparoscopic bile duct exploration.

Laparoscopic bile duct exploration is a minimally invasive surgery performed to clear the blockage by removing the gallstone(s) and allowing the flow of bile juice. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. Your surgeon makes 3-4 small keyhole incisions on your abdomen. A laparoscope (tube with a light and a tiny camera) is inserted in one of the incisions. 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 open the bile duct and remove the stone(s). The gallbladder may also be removed. The incisions are closed with sutures. In the presence of scar tissue, a laparoscopic approach may be difficult, and your surgeon may convert the procedure into an open surgery.

As with all surgical procedures, laparoscopic bile duct exploration may be associated with certain complications, such as infection, bleeding or damage to surrounding structures.

  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • St Vincent's Private Hospital
  • Gastroenterological Society of Australia
  • Gastroenterological Society of Australia
  • Monash University
  • Australia and New Zealand Hepatic, Pancreatic and Biliary Association
  • Australia & New Zealand Gastro Oesophageal Surgery Association
  • Eastern Health
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Knox Community Hospital
  • Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract
  • Goulburn Valley Health
  • Epworth Eastern Hospital
  • General Surgeons Australia
  • Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons (AUGIS) of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Association for Academic Surgery