Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-80
Feasibility of endoscopic papillary large balloon dilation after prior Billroth II gastrectomy and considerations for endoscopists

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Zip code: 138-736, Korea

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Date of Web Publication27-Mar-2014

How to cite this article:
Choi JH, Lee SK. Feasibility of endoscopic papillary large balloon dilation after prior Billroth II gastrectomy and considerations for endoscopists. Saudi J Gastroenterol 2014;20:79-80

How to cite this URL:
Choi JH, Lee SK. Feasibility of endoscopic papillary large balloon dilation after prior Billroth II gastrectomy and considerations for endoscopists. Saudi J Gastroenterol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Mar 1];20:79-80. Available from:

In patients whose gastrointestinal anatomy has been altered by stomach surgeries, such as Billroth II (B-II) gastrectomy or Roux-en-Y anastomosis, the removal of bile duct stones is more difficult than in patients with normal anatomies, because of the long access route and inverted direction of approach to the papilla of Vater. [1],[2],[3] With this in mind, many trials aimed at overcoming these problems have been carried out, and various techniques and devices dedicated to altered anatomies have been developed. Endoscopic papillary large balloon dilatation (EPLBD) is one of these techniques that appears to be an effective and safe means of removing of bile duct stones after a B-II gastrectomy.

The article published in this issue of The Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology provides evidence that EPLBD with or without endoscopic sphincterotomy (EST) is a feasible method for treating these cases. Thirty patients with large bile duct stones (≥10 mm) and markedly dilated common bile ducts were enrolled in this study, which had an overall success rate of 96.7% (29/30 patients). Only two cases of mild pancreatitis were developed after the procedure, and these could be treated through conservative management alone. These promising results, involving a high success rate and low complication rate, are in accordance with other reports, which are summarized in [Table 1].
Table 1: Published reports about the feasibility of EPLBD for bile duct stone removal in patients with prior Billroth II gastrectomy

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An interesting aspect of this article is that 11 cases of EPLBD alone, rather than EPLBD with preceding EST, were included. Although the advantage of addressing EPLBD alone is not fully elucidated to date, several reports have suggested that the use of EPLBD alone is not inferior to the use of conventional methods. [4],[5],[6] In fact, the use of EST is an important factor in increased complication rates and procedural times of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in B-II patients, because EST with inverted direction is a major obstacle to this procedure. Jang et al. [4] have reported that EPLBD alone is a safe and highly effective method with a low incidence of complications (5.0%) in patients with prior B-II gastrectomy. Even though no comparison between the two methods was made in this study, the low complication rate in the EPLBD alone group could be presumed to be connected to these findings. Further study of this topic should be carried out.

Although EPLBD appears to be an effective and safe method, evidence to guide the proper selection and technique of EPLBD in order to prevent complications, is still limited. A recently published multicenter retrospective study from Korea and Japan investigated 946 patients who underwent EPLBD for large common bile duct (CBD) stone removal. [7] Ninety-five (10%) of the patients experienced complications, including bleeding, pancreatitis, bowel perforation, and cholangitis, in the study, and four patients died as a result of multiorgan failure following bowel perforation and massive bleeding. Liver cirrhosis, full EST, large stone size (≥16 mm), and distal CBD stricture were independent risk factors in complications after EPLBD. Based on these results, the researchers recommended the following: (1) the selection of suitable candidates (ie, EPLBD should be reserved for patients with a dilated CBD, but avoided in patients with distal CBD strictures); (2) the avoidance of full EST immediately before large balloon dilation, to prevent perforation and bleeding; (3) the gradual inflation of the dilating balloon, to allow for the recognition of a narrowed distal CBD; (4) the discontinuation of inflation when resistance is encountered in the presence of a persistent balloon waist; (5) the inflation of the dilation balloon to a level that does not go beyond the maximal size of the upstream dilated CBD; and (6) the conversion to alternative stone removal or drainage methods when difficulty in the removal of a stone is encountered. These considerations should be addressed before performing procedures.

Another important aspect of performing ERCP in B-II patients is accessing the papilla of Vater. Because patients with prior B-II gastrectomy or Roux-en-Y anastomosis usually have long afferent loops, the insertion of an endoscope is difficult and sometimes fails. A prospective, randomized trial by Kim and his colleagues [8] was performed to compare the clinical outcomes of forward and side-viewing endoscopes for ERCP in patients with B-II gastrectomies. It concluded that forward-viewing endoscopes were superior to side-viewing endoscopes in terms of success and complication rates. In many studies, including the present article, however, side-viewing endoscopes have been preferred, due to the large working channel and the presence of an elevator lever, and despite the high risk of bowel perforation. Although there were no cases of severe complications such as perforations in the studies summarized in [Table 1], endoscopists should always be careful about perforation when using side-viewing endoscopes.

To date, no consensus guidelines for the removal of bile duct stones in patients with gastrointestinal anatomies altered by prior stomach surgeries have been established. Recently, many studies have been performed that have investigated feasible techniques and have found that EPLBD with or without EST is an effective and safe method for the retrieval of large bile duct stones. However, more detailed evidence is still needed as a basis for standardized recommendations.[12]

   References Top

1.Forbes A, Cotton PB. ERCP and sphincterotomy after Billroth II gastrectomy. Gut 1984;25:971-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Osnes M, Rosseland AR, Aabakken L. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiography and endoscopic papillotomy in patients with a previous Billroth-II resection. Gut 1986;27:1193-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Safrany L, Neuhaus B, Portocarrero G, Krause S. Endoscopic sphincterotomy in patients with Billroth II gastrectomy. Endoscopy 1980;12:16-22.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Jang HW, Lee KJ, Jung MJ, Jung JW, Park JY, Park SW, et al. Endoscopic papillary large balloon dilatation alone is safe and effective for the treatment of difficult choledocholithiasis in cases of Billroth II gastrectomy: A single center experience. Dig Dis Sci 2013;58:1737-43.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Jeong S, Ki SH, Lee DH, Lee JI, Lee JW, Kwon KS, et al. Endoscopic large-balloon sphincteroplasty without preceding sphincterotomy for the removal of large bile duct stones: A preliminary study. Gastrointest Endosc 2009;70:915-22.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Oh MJ, Kim TN. Prospective comparative study of endoscopic papillary large balloon dilation and endoscopic sphincterotomy for removal of large bile duct stones in patients above 45 years of age. Scand J Gastroenterol 2012;47:1071-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Park SJ, Kim JH, Hwang JC, Kim HG, Lee DH, Jeong S, et al. Factors predictive of adverse events following endoscopic papillary large balloon dilation: Results from a multicenter series. Dig Dis Sci 2013;58:1100-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Kim MH, Lee SK, Lee MH, Myung SJ, Yoo BM, Seo DW, et al. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and needle-knife sphincterotomy in patients with Billroth II gastrectomy: A comparative study of the forward-viewing endoscope and the side-viewing duodenoscope. Endoscopy 1997;29:82-5.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Kim GH, Kang DH, Song GA, Heo J, Park CH, Ha TI, et al. Endoscopic removal of bile-duct stones by using a rotatable papillotome and a large-balloon dilator in patients with a Billroth II gastrectomy (with video). Gastrointest Endosc 2008;67:1134-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Itoi T, Ishii K, Itokawa F, Kurihara T, Sofuni A. Large balloon papillary dilation for removal of bile duct stones in patients who have undergone a Billroth II gastrectomy. Dig Endosc 2010;22 Suppl 1:S98-102.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Kim TN, Lee SH. Endoscopic Papillary Large Balloon Dilation Combined with Guidewire-assisted precut papillotomy for the treatment of choledocholithiasis in patients with Billroth II gastrectomy. Gut Liver 2011;5:200-3.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Choi CW, Choi JS, Kang DH, Kim BG, Kim HW, Park SB, et al. Endoscopic papillary large balloon dilation in Billroth II gastrectomy patients with bile duct stones. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2012;27:256-60.  Back to cited text no. 12

Correspondence Address:
Sung-Koo Lee
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Zip code: 138-736
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.129472

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