Lacunar implementation of the critical view of safety technique for laparoscopic cholecystectomy: Results of a nationwide survey

Published:March 07, 2018DOI:



      Bile duct injury remains a dilemma in laparoscopic cholecystectomy, with an incidence still higher than in conventional cholecystectomy. The Critical View of Safety technique is used as one of the important operating technique to reduce bile duct injury incidence. The objective of this study was to determine current practices in laparoscopic cholecystectomy and the use of the Critical View of Safety technique among surgeons and residents in surgical training.


      We conducted an electronic survey among all affiliated members of the Association of Surgeons of the Netherlands containing questions regarding the current practice of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, essential steps of the Critical View of Safety technique, reasons for conversion to open cholecystectomy, and the use of other safety techniques.


      The response rate was 37% (766/2,055). In the study, 610 completed surveys were analyzed. Of the respondents, 410 (67.2%) were surgeons and 200 (32.8%) were residents in surgical training. Furthermore, 98.2% of the respondents indicated incorporating the Critical View of Safety technique into current practice. However, only 72% of respondents performed the essential steps of the Critical View of Safety technique frequently. Subsequently, half of respondents were able to identify the corresponding steps of the Critical View of Safety technique, and only 16.9% were able to distinguish these adequately from possible harmful steps. Furthermore, 74.9% selected ≥1 possible harmful steps as part of this technique. Residents significantly performed and selected the essential steps of the Critical View of Safety technique more often than surgeons. Intraoperative cholangiography, intraoperative ultrasound, and fluorescence cholangiography are seldom used. Bail-out techniques such as subtotal cholecystectomy, fundus first dissection, and leaving the gallbladder in situ are familiar to the majority of respondents.


      Responses indicate that practically all Dutch surgeons and residents claim to use the Critical View of Safety technique. The majority of surgeons and residents are unable to discern correctly the essential steps of the Critical View of Safety technique from actions not part of the technique and even potentially harmful. Residents' current knowledge regarding the Critical View of Safety technique is superior to those of surgeons.
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