Fully covered self-expandable metal stents (Fc-SEMSs) have a challenging use in the treatment of anastomosis strictures after live donor liver transplantation (LDLT) because they can occlude secondary branch biliary ducts when placed above the biliary bifurcation. In this study, we evaluated the technical feasibility and safety of combining Fc-SEMSs with plastic stent(s) inserted to the secondary branch biliary ducts for the treatment of anastomosis stricture after LDLT.Methods
The study group included 22 patients (12 men, aged 51±11 years) with anastomotic biliary stricture after LDLT. A Fc-SEMS, 8 to 10 mm in diameter, was inserted to the straight, dilated main duct and plastic stent(s) were inserted to the secondary branches to avoid their occlusion. Stents were left in place for 2 months and removed with a stent retrieving forceps. Technical feasibilities, including technical success, successful removal, and adverse events of this novel strategy, were evaluated.Results
Fc-SEMSs were successfuly deployed and removed in all of the cases. Three (13.6%) patients had pain requiring intravenous analgesia and Fc-SEMS had to be removed because of unbearable pain in one of them. Three (13.6%) patients developed cholangitis due to occlusion of unrecognized secondary branch biliary ducts. Primary stricture resolution rate was achieved in 17 (89.5%) of 19 patients. Recurrence was observed in 3 (17.6%) patients after a mean follow-up duration of 154.3±52.6 (range, 104-304) days.Conclusions
Combination of Fc-SEMS and plastic stent(s) is technically feasible and safe for the treatment of anastomotic biliary strictures after LDLT.