UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Is routine intraoperative cholangiogram necessary in the twenty-first century? A national view

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery, Surgical Outcomes Analysis and Research (SOAR)

Publication Date


Document Type



Cholangiography; Cholecystectomy


Digestive System Diseases | Gastroenterology | Surgery | Surgical Procedures, Operative


INTRODUCTION: Intraoperative cholangiogram (IOC) can define biliary ductal anatomy. Routine IOC has been proposed previously. However, current surgeon IOC utilization practice patterns and outcomes are unclear.

METHODS: Nationwide Inpatient Sample 2004-2009 was queried for patients with acute biliary disease undergoing cholecystectomy (CCY). Analyses only included surgeons performing >/=10 CCY/year. We dichotomized surgeons into a routine IOC group vs. selective. Outcomes included bile duct injury, complications, mortality, length of stay, and cost.

RESULTS: Of the nonweighted patients, 111,815 underwent CCY. A total of 4,740 actual surgeon yearly volumes were examined. On average, each surgeon performed 23.6 CCYs and 7.9 IOCs annually, using IOC in 33 % of cases. The routine IOC group used IOC for 96 % of cases, whereas selective IOC group used IOC approximately 25 % of the time. Routine IOC surgeons had no difference in mortality (0.4 %) or rate of bile duct injury (0.25 vs. 0.26 %), but higher overall complications (7.3 vs. 6.8 %, p = 0.04). Patients of routine IOC surgeons received more additional procedures and incurred higher costs.

CONCLUSION: Routine IOC does not decrease the rate of bile duct injury, but is associated with significant added cost. Surgeons' routine use of IOC is correlated with increased rates of postsurgical procedures, and is associated with increased overall complications. These data suggest routine IOC may not improve outcomes.


UMCCTS funding

DOI of Published Version



J Gastrointest Surg. 2013 Mar;17(3):434-42. doi: 10.1007/s11605-012-2119-8. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of gastrointestinal surgery : official journal of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract

PubMed ID