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Circle Health Group

Laparoscopic bile duct exploration

Bile duct exploration allows your consultant to see if a stone is blocking the flow of bile from your liver and gallbladder to your intestine.

What is laparoscopic bile duct exploration?

This is a procedure to remove stones from the bile duct that runs from the liver to the duodenum and is connected to the gallbladder.

The procedure is usually part of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. During the cholecystectomy an x ray of the bile duct is performed to confirm if there are stones in the bile duct. If there are stones in the common bile duct the front of the bile duct is opened and a flexible camera inserted. The stones are then removed using a wire basket. Once all the stones have been removed the incision in the bile duct is closed using laparoscopic suturing. Sometimes it is necessary to leave a T-tube drain in the bile duct which remains in place for a minimum of 6 weeks. A drain is usually placed next to the closure of the bile duct. The gallbladder is also removed as part of the procedure.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

The main benefit is that it avoids an open procedure and recovery is faster. It also allows gallbladder stones and bile duct stones to be dealt with in the same operation.

Are there any risks involved?

There is a slightly higher risk of conversion to an open procedure compared to straightforward lap cholecystectomy. Use of a T-tube drain can result is local septic complications. Mortality risk is related to the pre-operative clinical state and age.

Specialists Offering Laparoscopic bile duct exploration

Mr Neil Keeling

Consultant General Surgeon

MB, BS (Lond 1988), FRCS (Eng 1992), MS (Lond 1997), FRCS (Gen Surg 1998)

BMI St Edmunds Hospital

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Mr Simon Harris

Consultant General Surgeon


BMI Bishops Wood Hospital 1 more BMI The Clementine Churchill Hospital

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Mr Edward Harper

Consultant Laparoscopic General & Upper GI Surgeon

BMBS, BMedSci, FRCSEd, FRCS(General Surgery)

BMI The Edgbaston Hospital

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Mr Neville Norbert Menezes

Consultant General Surgeon


BMI The Princess Margaret Hospital 1 more BMI The Runnymede Hospital

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Mr Alan Li

Consultant Upper GI, Bariatric and General Surgeon

MbChB, FRCS (Eng), FRCS (Ed), FRCS (Gen Surg)

BMI The Alexandra Hospital 1 more BMI The Highfield Hospital

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Mr Lampros Liasis

Consultant General Surgeon

MD, CCT in General Surgery, PhD

BMI The Cavell Hospital 2 more BMI The Clementine Churchill Hospital BMI The Kings Oak Hospital

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Ways to pay

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Pay for yourself with our fixed price packages. This includes your pre-assessment, treatment, follow-ups and 6 months' aftercare

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Spread the cost

Pay for yourself with the BMI card and spread the cost over 12 months, interest-free (terms and conditions apply)

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