Background: This cross-sectional survey aimed to determine whether fluorescence cholangiography using indocyanine green (ICG-FC) can improve the detection of the cystic duct and the main bile duct during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC).

Methods: The survey was distributed to 214 surgeons (residents/faculties) in 2021. The confidence in the identification of the cystic duct and of the main bile duct was elicited on a 10-point Likert scale before/after the use of ICG-FC. This was repeated for three LCs ranging from a procedure deemed easy to a LC for acute cholecystitis.

Results: There were 149 responses. ICG-FC increased the responders’ confidence in identifying the cystic duct, raising the median value from 6 (IQR, 5-8) with white light up to 9 (IQR, 9-10) with ICG-FC (paired p < 0.001). This increase was even more evident when identifying the main bile duct, where the median confidence value increased from 5 (IQR, 4-7) with white light to 9 (IQR, 8-10) with the use of ICG-FC (p < 0.001). ICG-FC significantly increased the detection of residents of the main bile duct in case of intermediate difficulty LCs and in LCs for acute cholecystitis.

Conclusions: The results support that the use of near-infrared imaging can ameliorate detection of biliary structures, especially of the main bile duct and this was particularly true for young surgeons and in more complex situations.

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