The advent of laparoscopic cholecystectomy brought a new approach with many advantages to patients for the treatment of symptomatic gallstones. What was not anticipated was an increase in bile duct injuries as a major complication of this new technique. The advanced practice nurse (APN) must understand the technical aspects of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy and routine perioperative care, because this knowledge provides a basis to recognize signs and symptoms of potential postoperative problems characteristic of a bile duct injury. The APN may be the initial healthcare provider who examines a patient or who is contacted by the patient with reports of symptoms that must be needed and acted on. The APN responds to the patient by providing symptom management, initiating and coordinating care, and alerting the healthcare team. The APN at a specialty center may also be the consistent member of the healthcare team caring for a patient through nonoperative management and operative repair of the bile duct injury. Knowledge of the spectrum of bile duct injuries, their various manifestations, diagnostic tests, nonoperative management, and complex surgical repair is necessary for the APN to educate patients, coordinate care along the continuum, and support a patient with a bile duct injury. The medicolegal aspect of bile duct injury during laparoscopic cholecystectomy is also a topic the APN may encounter that requires thoughtful consideration and response. The recognition of subtle postoperative symptoms of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy may mean the difference between early diagnosis of and intervention in a minor injury or a major complication.
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Gastrointestinal Disorders| November 01 1999
Bile Duct Injuries in Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: Nursing Perspective
JoAnn Coleman, RN, MS, ACNP-CS, AOCN
From the Department of Surgical Nursing, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.
Reprint requests to JoAnn Coleman, RN, MS, ACNP-CS, AOCN, Department of Surgical Nursing, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Halsted 600, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287.
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AACN Adv Crit Care (1999) 10 (4): 442–454.
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JoAnn Coleman; Bile Duct Injuries in Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: Nursing Perspective. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 November 1999; 10 (4): 442–454. doi:
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