Role of ERCP and Therapeutic Biliary Endoscopy in Association with Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Boulay, Joseph; Schellenberg, Robert; Brady, Patrick G.
July 1992
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Jul1992, Vol. 87 Issue 7, p837
Academic Journal
Laparoscopic removal is rapidly becoming the preferred method of cholecystectomy; however, choledocholithiasis cannot usually be managed with a laparoscopic approach. Combined endoscopic sphincterotomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a potential solution to this problem. To determine the feasibility of this combined procedure we studied 41 patients who had both endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Indications for ERCP included jaundice, gallstone pancreatitis, dilated ducts on sonography, elevated liver enzymes, or stones seen on operative cholangiography. Twenty-eight patients had ERCP preoperatively. Nine patients had common duct stones; these were successfully removed from eight patients after sphincterotomy. Two patients had unexpected strictures requiring a change in surgical approach. Thirteen patients had ERCP postoperatively. Eight of those patients had common duct stones, and all were successfully removed following endoscopic sphincterotomy. Three patients had postoperative strictures, one of which was treated by endoscopic stent placement. No complications as a result of ERCP or sphincterotomy were encountered. ERCP and endoscopic sphincterotomy can be safely performed both preoperatively and as early as 1 day postoperatively. If indicators of choledocholithiasis are present, preoperative ERCP is preferred, because stone removal occasionally is unsuccessful, and cholangiographic findings may change the operative approach. Postoperative ERCP can define and, in some instances, treat biliary tract injuries resulting from laparoscopic cholecystectomy.


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