|Authors||Corvera CU, Weber SM, Jarnagin WR|
|Journal||Surg. Oncol. Clin. N. Am. Volume: 11 Issue: 4 Pages: 877-91|
|Publish Date||2002 Oct|
Patients with malignancies of the biliary tract have a dismal prognosis. As in most abdominal cancers, resection is the only effective treatment with potential for cure. Preoperative staging is not completely accurate, however, and a significant number of patients with biliary carcinoma undergo unnecessary laparotomy. As imaging technology improves, more patients with unresectable disease will be identified, avoiding the need for a laparotomy. Laparoscopy is a major addition, but its usefulness in staging of abdominal malignancies continues to evolve. The importance of laparoscopy to better predict the resectability in liver malignancies increasingly has been recognized. Conversely, the use of staging laparoscopy for other cancers has shown little benefit. For hilar cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder cancer, the authors’ analysis of 100 patients supports the use of staging laparoscopy for assessing these tumors. In this series, staging laparoscopy correctly identified unresectable disease and prevented unnecessary laparotomy in one third of patients. Patients with unresectable disease that was not detected at laparoscopy most often had locally advanced tumors. LUS did not contribute to the assessment of resectability in these patients. The yield of laparoscopy was lower for hilar cholangiocarcinoma, but could be improved by targeting patients who are at higher risk for occult unresectable disease, such as patients with T2 or T3 lesions. These patients and patients with primary gallbladder carcinoma have a high incidence of metastatic disease and should undergo laparoscopic staging before attempting at resection.