Routine Use of Simultaneous Laparoendoscopic Approach in Patients with Confirmed Gallbladder and Bile Duct Stones: Fit for Laparoscopy Fit for “Rendezvous”
The aim of the present work was to determine the feasibility and efficacy, in terms of equipment coordination and timing, of the laparoendoscopic intraoperative rendezvous technique (RVT) for the treatment of gallbladder and common bile duct stones (CBDS).
The procedure was considered in 269 unselected patients with a suspicion or preoperative imaging demonstration of CBDS who were fit for laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). Common bile duct stones were confirmed by intraoperative laparoscopic cholangiography (IOC) in only 113 of these patients (42 %). In 17 (15 %) patients the planned procedure was aborted because of organizational problems, mainly the unavailability of endoscopists in the urgent setting. The remaining 96 patients (84 %) underwent a formal attempt at RVT. Intraoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiography (ERC) was performed, during LC, by means of a guidewire that reached the duodenum through the cystic duct.
In 18 patients (19 %) the complete procedure failed, either because of difficulty in passing the guidewire through the papilla or because of other technical difficulties that required conversion to laparotomy. An intraoperative ERC was completed in six patients in the classical way (no guidewire) without conversion. No mortality and few complications were recorded (3 % overall: 1 perforation and 2 cholangitis). Retained stones were successively detected in 6 patients (6 %) and successfully retreated by a further ERC. Globally, the one-stage procedure (with and without the guidewire) was possible in 84 of 96 patients (87 %).
The RVT appears to be effective and safe as it was performed at our institution, with an overall percentage of definitive success (passed guide wire and no further ERC) of 81 %. The RVT should be considered as a good option for the treatment of simultaneous gallstones and CBDS.
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