Laparoscopic transgastric endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) after gastric bypass: case series and a description of technique

Peter M Bertin, Kirpal Singh, Maurice E Arregui
Surgical Endoscopy 2011, 25 (8): 2592-6

BACKGROUND: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass excludes the biliary and pancreatic tree from traditional endoscopic evaluation and treatment. As the number of former bypass patients accrues, the need to assess and treat this subset of patients for biliary and pancreatic disease will increase. The authors describe their technique, indications, and outcomes for this group of patients.

METHODS: Data were collected by a retrospective chart review of the experience two surgeons had with laparoscopically assisted transgastric endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) from July 2004 to October 2008 at a single institution. This review identified 22 cases. The operating surgeon performed the entire procedure. The indications were suspected sphincter of Oddi dysfunction in 18 patients and recurrent pancreatitis in four patients. Adhesions were lysed, and a purse-string suture was placed on the anterior portion of the stomach. A gastrotomy was made with monopolar electrocautery, and a 12 mm trocar was inserted. It was secured with a purse-string suture. A side-viewing duodenoscope was inserted through this port. An intestinal clamp was placed on the biliopancreatic limb. The intended interventions were sphincter of Oddi manometry, sphincterotomy, placement of a pancreatic duct stent, and injection of botulinum toxin if indicated.

RESULTS: Laparoscopic access to the remnant stomach was sufficient for ERCP in 21 cases. One patient required conversion to an open procedure. A total of 12 patients had undergone prior open upper abdominal surgery. One retroperitoneal perforation was noted, with precut sphincterotomy and cannulation of the minor duodenal papilla and no clinical repercussions. Manometry was performed for 18 patients. The pancreatic duct cannulation rate for manometry was 89%, and the rate of bile duct cannulation for manometry was 94%. The manometry studies for 12 patients yielded abnormal results. Eight patients had transient improvement, and three patients had long-term improvement or resolution of symptoms after the index procedure. With additional treatment, two of the transient responders had long-term resolution of symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings demonstrate that gastric bypass patients with biliary pain can be successfully evaluated endoscopically by laparoscopic transgastric ERCP for sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. The rate for technical success and complications does not appear to be significantly greater than for standard ERCP. A few helpful techniques were noted during this experience. Comparison of efficacy with that of a prior study was limited.

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