Acute biliary pancreatitis. The roles of laparoscopic cholecystectomy and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography

A V DeIorio, G C Vitale, M Reynolds, G M Larson
Surgical Endoscopy 1995, 9 (4): 392-6
Since January 1990, we have treated 113 patients for gallstone pancreatitis; 59 with laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC), 50 with open cholecystectomy, and 4 with ERCP/sphincterotomy only. In the LC group, 47 had LC during the index admission and 12 underwent delayed LC. Fifty patients had open cholecystectomy, 47 during the index admission. ERCPs were performed in 43 of the 113 patients; CBD stones were identified in 19/43 (44%) and removed endoscopically in 18 (95%). The ERCP complication rate was 6.5%. In total, CBD stones were identified in 29/113 patients (26%). Patients who had imaging of the CBD within the first 4 days from onset of symptoms were more likely to have stones identified than were those patients who were studied after 5 days. Recurrent pancreatitis occurred in in five of 11 patients (45%) who had a > or = 30-day delay to definitive treatment. We conclude that LC can be safely performed in most patients during the index admission for gallstone pancreatitis. This policy should reduce the 30-50% risk of recurrent pancreatitis associated with a delayed operation. ERCP is a helpful adjunct for CBD stones.


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