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Minerva Chirurgica 2000 October;55(10):665-72

language: Italian

Endoscopic laparoscopic sequential treatment of patients with common bile duct stones

Franciosi C., Caprotti R., De Fina S., Romano F., Colombo G., Uggeri F., Sartori P., Visintini G., Uggeri F.


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Background. Laparoscopic treatment of common bile duct (CBD) stones is gaining great acceptance worldwide, but actually it requires skills and technologies too expensive for a great part of general surgeons. So endoscopic removal of CBD stones before cholecystectomy is usually performed. Since 1991 in our departement we started a policy of selective preoperative cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in patients suspected for choledocolitiasis and waiting for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Methods. A retrospective study has been made on a population of 1100 patients who underwent elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the period between January 1991 and December 1997. They were 391 male and 719 female with a mean age of 52 years, 126 of whom (11.5%) were selected to have ERCP preoperatively because they had clinical, biochemical and ultrasound signs of the presence of common bile duct stones (CBDS).
Results. Succesful cannulation of the CBD was achieved in 124 cases (98.4%), with failures due to ampullary diverticula. In 7 cases (5.5%) a precut was necessary to obtain cannulation. Sphincterotomy was performed in 113 patients (89.7%). In 93 patients (73.8%) stones were found (87 macrolithiasis and 6 microlithiasis); in 91 (97.8%) stones were removed in one (87) or two (4) endoscopic session. There were 2 major complications (one bleeding and one severe pancreatitis) due to ERCP or a sphincterotomy. Two patients developed symptoms from unsuspected common bile duct stones after LC and were removed endoscopically. No complications during LC were due to ERCP or ES.
Conclusions. Selective preoperative ERCP is an effective way of clearing the CBD stones before laparoscopic cholecystectomy, with low rate of complications related to endoscopic and laparoscopic procedures, and short mean hospital stay (5.5 days), according to the concept of minimally invasive treatment.

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