Author : Bader Abdullah, Abutalib
Basrah Journal of Surgery,
2011, Volume 17, Issue 2, Pages 45-57
Obstructive Jaundice is a common surgical problem presenting to hospitals as it resulted from many etiological factors like choledocholithiasis or periampullary tumors especially CA head of pancreas. According to the difference in these etiological factors and their progress, symptoms and signs vary in different patients. Diagnostic tools like US, CT scan, MRCP, ERCP and others vary in their ability in diagnosing the main etiology and the operative procedures also differs according to the etiologies, ranging from least invasive like ERCP to very sophisticated procedures like Whipple's procedure for CA head of pancreas. Many factors may affect the morbidity and mortality like the age of patients, presenting etiology and the presence of associated comorbid diseases. This study aimed to demonstrate the main etiological factors of obstructive jaundice in Basrah and the commonest presenting symptoms and signs. Also to study the most applicable investigations and compare their results according to their accuracy in diagnosing the etiology, and to study the most common surgical intervention applied to relieve the obstruction in obstructive jaundice and hospital morbidity and mortality. Both retrospective and prospective study was done in Basrah between January 2006 and December 2009, 243 patients with obstructive jaundice were included in this study from the main general hospitals and private hospitals in Basrah. Data were collected about the presenting clinical features, the diagnostic techniques, operative procedures and the causes of in hospital mortality and morbidity and were analyzed so that a complete picture of these details can be assessed for obstructive jaundice in Basrah. The study shows no significant difference between male and female in obstructive jaundice. The majority of cases found in the age group 50-59 years. Most common etiology was choledocholithiasis. The most frequent applied investigation was the liver function test which was done to all patients. Imaging techniques were applied variably with the US was the most applied while MRCP and ERCP were the least; however, the accuracy was higher with the latter two techniques. Intervention depends on the main etiology: for the choledocholithiasis, most common operation was CBD exploration, for CA head of pancreas the most common operation done was bypass procedure and for complicated hepato-biliary hydatid disease the CBD exploration with T-tube was the common. The post operative morbidity was 20.07% mostly due to respiratory complications, while mortality was 9.86 % mostly due to sepsis. In conclusion, the most common cause of obstructive jaundice in Basrah is choledocholithiasis and CA head of pancreas comes second. ERCP and MRCP are the least applied imaging techniques in diagnosis of obstructive jaundice. The threshold for their application was very high. The least applied intervention to treat obstructive jaundice was the therapeutic ERCP, while the most common was open surgical procedures.