Introduction Bile duct injury (BDI) is an infrequent but morbid complication of cholecystectomy. High-grade BDI repairs requiring hepaticojejunostomies are complex and associated with increased morbidity and mortality. This study sought to establish the increased risk associated with complex bile duct repair at a multi-institutional level in the United States. Methods Using the ACS-NSQIP Participant Use File, all patients who underwent a hepaticojejunostomy for bile duct repair between 2005 and 2012 were identified. Clinical data, perioperative risk factors and morbidity and mortality rates were calculated. Results Of the 293 BDI patients, 102 (65.2%) were female and the mean age was 49.8 years. The 30-day morbidity and mortality rates were 26.3% and 2%, respectively. Univariable analysis identified male gender, ASA class, functional status, diabetes, hypertension and chronic steroid use to be associated with increased morbidity. A higher ASA class was associated with increased postoperative sepsis and chronic steroid use was associated with increased overall morbidity on multivariable analysis. The morbidity rates for BDI repair within 30 days of injury vs. later repair were similar (24% vs. 23%), but the mortality rate was higher for the earlier repair group (5% vs. 0%, p = 0.012). Conclusions Within the largest multi-institutional analysis of 30-day outcomes after hepaticojejunostomies for BDI in the US, morbidity and mortality rates were established at 26.3% and 2% respectively. ASA class and preoperative functional status remain the main risk factors for surgery. Earlier repair in the face of ongoing sepsis and disability is associated with worse outcomes. A multidisciplinary approach at a specialized center aimed at controlling infection and improving functional status prior to surgical reconstruction is recommended.
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