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Double-balloon enteroscopy application in biliary tract disease-its therapeutic and diagnostic functions.

BACKGROUND: On occasion, it is impossible to perform ERCP with a traditional duodenoscope in patients who have had a Billroth II gastrectomy or hepatojejunostomy, and who now have biliary tract problems. Repeat surgery is not a suitable course of action in these patients. Therefore, finding alternative modalities to resolve these obstructions is of great importance.

OBJECTIVE: To report successful endoscopic examination and treatment of difficult biliary obstructions by using double-balloon enteroscopy.

PATIENTS: Five patients.

DESIGN: Cases series.

INTERVENTION: Double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) for biliary tract examination and treatment.

RESULTS: We report on 5 patients who underwent Billroth II gastrectomy or biliary tract Roux-en-Y surgery and who later had biliary tract obstruction from various causes. We were unable to perform ERCP with traditional duodenoscopy but successfully completed ERCP with DBE. DBE was originally designed to examine the small intestine. The successful biliary tract cannulation rate when using DBE is lower than with duodenoscope. We performed ERCP by using DBE a total of 5 times, with a successful biliary cannulation rate of 60%. We performed a special-method papillotomy in 2 patients. This method entailed inserting an electric sphincterotome through the percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography and drainage (PTCD) route after performing DBE intubation to the ampulla of Vater. We then successfully completed a papillotomy with an electric sphincterotome under DBE guidance.

CONCLUSIONS: DBE appears to be a promising alternative in the examination and treatment of biliary tract disease in patients after GI operations such as Billroth II gastrectomy and choledochojejunostomy.

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