Though local practice will reflect the previously acquired expertise of the operators, it seems reasonable to employ a minimum of percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography, and, ideally, this in combination with ERCP for preoperative cholangiography in patients with cholestatic jaundice. Few cases will defy both techniques. The morbidity is well known and if properly anticipated can be reduced to a minimum by judicious use of antibacterial agents and early surgical intervention when appropriate. Grey-scale ultrasonography by indicating the diameter of the bile ducts enables one to select percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography for dilated ducts and ERCP for non-dilated ducts with an almost 100% success rate for the former and only slightly less for the latter in experienced hands.
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