Management of bronchobiliary fistula as a late complication of hepatic resection

D. Michael Rose, Amy T. Rose, William C. Chapman, J. Kelly Wright, Richard R. Lopez, C. Wright Pinson

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36 Scopus citations


Bronchobiliary fistula is an uncommon but remarkable complication after hepatic resection. The case reported illustrates the clinical presentation and preferred initial management of these fistulae. A 61-year-old white male underwent two wedge resections for colorectal metastases to the liver with removal of a portion of the right diaphragm. Four years later, he developed obstructive jaundice secondary to tumor recurrence in the porta hepatis, which required endoscopic stent placement, radiation, and chemotherapy. Almost 2 years later, he developed frank biliptysis. Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC) revealed occlusion of the common hepatic duct stent and a bronchobiliary fistula. With adequate reestablishment of common duct drainage, the patient rapidly improved and was discharged free of symptoms. Bronchobiliary fistulae are rare complications of hepatic resection that can present from days to years after operation. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and PTC are the diagnostic studies of choice and offer the possibility of therapeutic intervention. Although large series in the literature emphasize the surgical management of bronchobiliary fistulae, the reoperative procedures tend to be complicated, with a significant morbidity and mortality. Nonsurgical interventions via endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or PTC are more recently notably successful when resolution of a distal biliary obstruction is accomplished. Only after aggressive attempts at nonoperative, interventional techniques have failed should operative approaches be entertained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-876
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 1998


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