Combined endoscopic treatment for cholelithiasis associated with choledocholithiasis

  • G. Saccomani
  • V. Durante
  • M. R. Magnolia
  • L. Ghezzo
  • R. Lombezzi
  • L. Esercizio
  • M. Stella
  • A. Arezzo
Original articles



The advent of endoscopic techniques changed surgery in many ways. For the management of cholelithiasis, laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is the treatment of choice. This has created a dilemma in the management of choledocholithiasis. Today a number of option exist, including endoscopic sphinterotomy (ES) before LC in patients with suspected common bile duct (CBD) stones, laparoscopic bile duct exploration, open CBD exploration, and postoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Also, the alternative technique of peroperative ES is emerging.


We report our experience of routine intraoperative cholangiography followed either by peroperative ERCP in one step or by transcystic drain and postoperative ERCP. In our technique, to facilitate Vater papilla cannulation we inserted a 450-cm transcystic guidewire that was caught by a duodenoscope. Papillotome was then inserted over the guidewire to ensure cannulation of the CBD.


Twenty-eight patients were treated successfully in one step and 24 in two steps. The mean operative time was 181 ? 41 min for patients treated in one step and 131 ? 30 min for patients treated in two steps. The mean hospital stay was 4.8 ? 3.3 days for patients treated in one step and 9.6 ? 4.0 days for patients treated in two steps. Five patients (18%) with positive intraoperative cholangiography for stones for whom peroperative ERCP was not available showed a normal postoperative transcystic cholangiogram and therefore ERCP was canceled. Fourteen of 25 patients treated in one step and none of 17 treated in two steps had raised serum amylase, which resolved spontaneously with no symptoms. No patient developed postoperative pancreatitis. Three (10%) ERCP complications were observed, consisting of mild bleeding of the papilla. All cases were managed by endoscopic adrenaline injection. There was no mortality.


We believe peroperative ERCP with the technique described should be considered as the treatment of choice for choledocholithiasis associated with cholelithiasis. When single-stage treatment is not possible, a two-step rendezvous technique should be preferred.


Endoscopic surgery Cholelithiasis Choledocolithiasis Laparoscopic cholecystectomy Endoscopic retrograde sphincterotomy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Saccomani
    • 1
  • V. Durante
    • 1
  • M. R. Magnolia
    • 2
  • L. Ghezzo
    • 3
  • R. Lombezzi
    • 4
  • L. Esercizio
    • 4
  • M. Stella
    • 1
  • A. Arezzo
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryOspedale Santa CoronaPietra LigureItaly
  2. 2.Department of GastroenterologyOspedale Santa CoronaPietra LigureItaly
  3. 3.Department of GastroenterologyOspedale Santa Croce e Carlevia Coppino 26, 12100 CuneoItaly
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryOspedale Santo Spirito12042 Bra (CN)Italy
  5. 5.Department of Surgery Ospedale Evangelico Internazionale16122 GenovaItaly

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