Preoperative Endoscopic Sphincterotomy Versus Laparoendoscopic Rendezvous in Patients With Gallbladder and Bile Duct Stones

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To compare success rate, length of hospital stay, clinical results, and costs of sequential treatment (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography followed by laparoscopic cholecystectomy) versus the laparoendoscopic Rendezvous in patients with cholecysto-choledocholithiasis.


The ideal management of common bile duct (CBD) stones in the era of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) remains controversial.


A total of 91 elective patients with cholelithiasis and CBD stones diagnosed at magnetic resonance cholangiography (MRC) were included in a prospective, randomized trial. The patients were randomized in 2 groups. Group I patients (45 cases) underwent a preoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) followed by LC in the same hospital admission. Group II patients (46 cases) underwent LC associated with intraoperative ERCP and ES according to the rendezvous technique.


The rate of CBD clearance was 80% for Group I and 95.6% for Group II (P = 0.06). The morbidity rate was 8.8% in Group I and 6.5% in Group II (P = not significant). No deaths occurred in either group. Hospital stay was shorter in Group II than in Group I: 4.3 days versus 8.0 days (P < 0.0001). There was a significant reduction in mean total cost for group II patients versus group I patients: €2829 versus €3834 (P < 0.05).


When compared with preoperative ERCP with ES followed by LC, the laparoendoscopic rendezvous technique allows a higher rate of CBD stones clearance, a shorter hospital stay, and a reduction in costs.

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