Migration of Plastic Biliary Stents and Endoscopic Retrieval: An Experience of Three Referral Centers

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BackgroundProximal or distal migration of a plastic biliary stent is uncommon, but its management can be a technical challenge to the pancreatobiliary endoscopist.Patients and MethodsAll cases (n=51) of proximally and distally migrated plastic biliary stents over an 8-year period at 3 referral pancreaticobiliary centers were included in this retrospective study. Indications for stenting, risk factors for migration, presentation of migration, and various techniques used for stent's retrieval are herein analyzed.ResultsTwenty-one proximal and 30 distal bile duct-migrated stents were identified. All patients with proximally and 17 (56.7%) with distally migrated stents were symptomatic. Choledocholithiasis, dilated common bile duct, short and large size stent were the main risk factors. The retrieval of proximally migrated stents was successful in 15 patients (71.4%) and in all symptomatic patients with distal migration. The retrieval techniques included forceps, Dormia basket, snare, Soehendra stent retriever, and balloon. One patient died of sepsis due to peritonitis from duodenal perforation from a distally migrated stent.ConclusionsRetrieval of a proximally migrated stent requires experience with different endoscopic devices. Moreover, distal migration needs attention because it can cause severe complications.

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