Research Article

General surgery: biliary surgery.

BMJ 1993; 307 doi: (Published 13 November 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;307:1266
  1. R C Russell
  1. Middlesex Hospital, London.


    The management of biliary tract disease has changed completely as a result of minimally invasive treatment. For most patients with gallstones that cause symptoms a laparoscopic cholecystectomy will treat the condition with minimal morbidity and a short recovery period. If complications are encountered, conversion to a mini-cholecystectomy gives results that are nearly as good. Acute cholecystitis can be treated by percutaneous drainage followed either by percutaneous cholecystolithotomy or a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Gallstones in the bile duct are best treated by endoscopic sphincterotomy with duct clearance. The day of the large cholecystectomy scar with its subsequent incisional hernia has gone.