PMID: 12628067Mar 12, 2003Paper

Endoscopic Interventions in the Biliary Tract

Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology
Adolf Stiehl


In patients with common bile duct stones, the endoscopic removal of such stones has become the standard therapy. The surgical approach is indicated only for stones that cannot be extracted endoscopically. In biliary obstruction due to pancreaticobiliary malignancy, endoscopic interventions represent the first-line therapy in the palliative situation. If endoscopic access is not possible, the percutanous approach often represents an alternative, followed by palliative surgical options. Biliary strictures or bile leaks after liver transplantation very often may be treated effectively by endoscopic dilatation or temporary stenting. In most cases, endoscopic therapy of such problems represents the first option before the percutaneous or surgical approach is indicated. In primary sclerosing cholangitis, dominant biliary strictures develop frequently and endoscopic treatment allows their opening in most cases. There is no real alternative to endoscopy in this situation. The situation is more complex in postoperative biliary strictures and chronic pancreatitis. In these conditions, advantages and disadvantages of the endoscopic versus the surgical approach have to be evaluated to find the most effective form of treatment in the indivi...Continue Reading


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