Fate of the gallbladder with cholelithiasis after endoscopic sphincterotomy for choledocholithiasis.Can J Surg. 1989 Jan; 32(1):15-8.CJ
Endoscopic sphincterotomy is the treatment of choice for choledocholithiasis after cholecystectomy. Its role has been expanded to treat choledocholithiasis in patients with gallbladders still in place. The authors report their experience with endoscopic sphincterotomy, with emphasis on the safety of the procedure, in high-operative-risk patients with choledocholithiasis and gallbladder in situ. Stones were successfully removed in 72 of 75 patients (96%); 1 required an emergency operation and 2 an elective one. Complications included bleeding, pancreatitis and cholangitis; there were no associated deaths. Follow-up of 54 of the patients, who had associated cholelithiasis at the time of endoscopic sphincterotomy, showed that 14 died of causes unrelated to the biliary tract. Of the others, 14 underwent cholecystectomy for failure of endoscopic sphincterotomy (2), acute cholecystitis (4) or persistent biliary tract symptoms (8). The other 26 patients were well after a mean follow-up of 30.4 months; 1 had mild biliary tract symptoms. Ultrasonography in 16 of the 26 patients showed persistent cholelithiasis in 12. Life-table analysis revealed a 15% probability of acute cholecystitis within 5 years of endoscopic sphincterotomy.