Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangiography and Biliary Decompression: Invasive, Diagnostic, and Therapeutic Procedures With Too High a Price?

Kenneth R. Sirinek, Barry A. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


To investigate and/or treat the causes of jaundice, 221 patients underwent the following procedures over 7 years: percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC) alone (104 patients), PTC with external biliary drainage (69 patients), or PTC with external/internal biliary drainage (48 patients). Forty-nine procedure-related complications occurred in 39 patients (18%). Three patients (1.5%) required an emergency operation for hepatic hemorrhage (2 patients) and a perforated gallbladder (1 patient). Two patients (1%) died as a direct result of the procedure secondary to hemorrhage (1 patient) and sepsis (1 patient). Preoperative biliary decompression, although technically (95%) and physiologically (82%) successful in the majority of patients, had no therapeutic benefit when compared (nonrandomized) with those patients without alleviation of jaundice prior to surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-888
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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