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Br J Surg. 2002 Dec;89(12):1495-504.

Comparison of endoscopic sphincterotomy and laparoscopic exploration of the common bile duct.

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1
Department of Surgery, Southmead Hospital, Bristol BS10 5NB, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Laparoscopic exploration of the common bile duct is becoming more popular, although endoscopic sphincterotomy remains the usual treatment for bile duct stones. However, loss of the biliary sphincter causes permanent duodenobiliary reflux, and recurrent stone disease and biliary neoplasia may be a consequence.

METHODS:

A systematic literature review was conducted to compare laparoscopic exploration with endoscopic sphincterotomy. A text word search of the Medline, Pubmed and Cochrane databases, and a manual search of the citations from these references, was used.

RESULTS:

Endoscopic sphincterotomy is associated with a median (range) mortality rate of 1 (0-6) per cent, compared with 1 (0-5) per cent for laparoscopic bile duct exploration. The median (range) rate of pancreatitis following endoscopic sphincterotomy is 3 (1-19) per cent; this is a rare complication after laparoscopic duct exploration. The combined morbidity rate for laparoscopic cholecystectomy and endoscopic sphincterotomy is 13 (3-16) per cent, which is greater than 8 (2-17) per cent for laparoscopic bile duct exploration. Randomized trials are few and contain relatively small numbers of patients. They show little overall difference in rates of duct clearance, but a higher mortality rate and number of hospital admissions are noted for endoscopic sphincterotomy compared with laparoscopic bile duct exploration. Endoscopic sphincterotomy is associated with recurrent stone formation (up to 16 per cent) with associated cholangitis. It is also associated with bacterobilia and chronic mucosal inflammation. The late development of bile duct cancer has been reported in up to 2 per cent of patients.

CONCLUSION:

Laparoscopic exploration of the common bile duct may be a better way of removing stones than endoscopic sphincterotomy plus laparoscopic cholecystectomy. :

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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