This study reviews the results of transcystic common bile duct exploration (CBDE) for unsuspected stones found during laparoscopic cholecystectomy by a single surgeon in 150 consecutive patients. Fluoroscopic cholangiography was attempted in all but four patients. If the cholangiogram appeared to show common bile duct (CBD) stones, a 5 Fr, 8-mm ureteral stone basket was passed through the cystic duct into the duodenum, opened, and trolled through the CBD. Routine cholangiography was successful in 131 of 144 attempts (90%). An indication for CBDE was found by cholangiogram in seven patients (5%). Two cholangiograms were falsely positive. Stones were removed in five patients. Completion cholangiograms were normal in all patients. One patient developed mild pancreatitis but was discharged 2 days after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The remainder were discharged on postoperative day 1. One patient was readmitted on postoperative day 2, possibly having passed a retained stone. Fluoroscopic CBDE was successful in clearing the CBD in all patients in this small series and deserves further evaluation.
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