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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2005 February;60(1):31-6

language: English

Endoscopic biliary stenting facilities safe and early removal of T-tube in liver transplant patients

Rolles K., Fusai G., Rolando N., Koti R., Patch D., Davidson B. R., Burroughs A. K.


Aim. Duct to duct anastomosis in orthotopic liver transplant (OLT) patients have been traditionally performed with a t-tube in place for 3 to 6 months. Following removal of the t-tube a high incidence of biliary leakage has been reported.
Methods. Prospective study to evaluate the role of endoscopic biliary stenting to facilitate early and uncomplicated t-tube removal. All patients with duct to duct biliary anastomosis who had a t-tube in situ, from January 1998 to December 2002 were included in this study.
Results. There were 29 patients eligible for the study. Eight patients were not included due to early death. A protocol t-tube cholangiogram was performed in all patients, (median 12 days; range 4-47 days) followed by an endoscopic stent insertion (median 37 days; range 20-55 days). The stent was removed later (median 84 days; range 45-133 days). All complications related to the procedure were noted. Stent insertion was successful in all cases. In 2 patients a second endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) was necessary, either because of failure to cannulate the papilla or to reposition the stent. There was a patient who presented a biliary leak due to stent displacement requiring a laparotomy. There were two further biliary leaks, one of them in an asymptomatic patient, which were managed conservatively. In addition 1 patient developed a mild case of postERCP pancreatitis.
Conclusion. In liver transplants patients with an end-to-end choledochostomy with a t-tube, endoscopic biliary stenting allows an early removal of the T tube, with few complications.

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