Endoscopic sphincterotomy in choledocholithiasis: analysis of an experience of 530 interventions.

A Ginestal-Cruz, N Grima, A P Correia, V Duarte, J P Correia


We report the experience of 530 consecutive cases of choledocolithiasis treated through Endoscopic Sphincterotomy (ES) between January 1980 and January 1988 (74% of total patients submitted to ES in the same period). 73% had more than 60 years and 47% more than 70 years. A slight majority (52%) had previous cholecystectomy (1/3 still with T-tube drainage) and the remaining had gallbladders insitu (lithiasic in 82%). Therapeutic goals (achieved drainage and complete stone removal) have been achieved in 95% of patients with a low immediate morbidity (9%) and mortality (1%). Delayed mortality, until 30th day (3%) includes 6 cases of obstructive cholangitis with sepsis, unaltered by emergent ES. Follow-up showed a 3% incidence of reintervention from restenosed ES. Patients with lithiasic gallbladder had a 33% cholecistectomy rate, mostly elective during first month post-ES. Our experience confirms ES as an efficient and safe routine treatment for choledocolithiasis. It should be the first choice in patients with previous cholecystectomy or alithiasic gallbladder and a largely applicable tool in those with associated gallbladder stones. Decision about post-ES cholecystectomy in these patients must be weighed on clinical grounds and according to surgical risk groups.

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