When a Kocherized (salute to the verb-nouns) duodenum can reach the hepatic ducts for reestablishing continuity after choledochal cyst resection, the laparoscopic operation becomes simpler, more physiologic, and avoids potential complications related to the roux-en-y reconstructions. Additionally, it allows for future endoscopic access to the anastomosis in case an anastomotic stricture or intrahepatic stones develop. No much controversy there.
But what about cholangitis, how can it be OK for food to pass right by the hepatic ducts and not cause an infection.
In a paper by Santore et al out of CHOP, the authors retrospectively reviewed charts of 59 patients who underwent open resection by the same surgeon with reconstruction using either HD (66%) or HJ (34%). After a mean of 2.3 years follow up for HD and 3.5 years follow up for HJ, only one patient in the HJ developed cholangitis. Additionally, there was no significant difference in the rate of postoperative leaks or strictures.
Another argument against reconstruction with a HD relates to the risk of bile gastritis. A meta-analysis of several papers with a total of 679 patients (60% of whom underwent reconstruction with a HD) suggested that patients who are reconstructed using a HD are at increased risk of bile gastritis (5.9% for HD vs. 0% for HJ). It is clear how reconstruction with a HJ completely diverts bile away from the stomach and thus prevents any bile gastritis. It is unclear to me, however, how placing the anastomosis in the duodenum, and downstream of a perfectly healthy pylorus, is any different from the normal physiologic drainage of bile, and why that would cause gastritis.
I'm on team HD.