Published online Apr 21, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i15.2423
Revised: December 22, 2005
Accepted: January 14, 2006
Published online: April 21, 2006
AIM: To describe a simple one-step method involving percutaneous transhepatic insertion of an expandable metal stent (EMS) used in the treatment of obstructive jaundice caused by unresectable malignancies.
METHODS: Fourteen patients diagnosed with obstructive jaundice due to unresectable malignancies were included in the study. The malignancies in these patients were a result of very advanced carcinoma or old age. Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography was performed under ultrasonographic guidance. After a catheter with an inner metallic guide was advanced into the duodenum, an EMS was placed in the common bile duct, between a point 1 cm beyond the papilla of Vater and the entrance to the hepatic hilum. In cases where it was difficult to span the distance using just a single EMS, an additional stent was positioned. A drainage catheter was left in place to act as a hemostat. The catheter was removed after resolution of cholestasis and stent patency was confirmed 2 or 3 d post-procedure.
RESULTS: One-step insertion of the EMS was achieved in all patients with a procedure mean time of 24.4 min. Out of the patients who required 2 EMS, 4 needed a procedure time exceeding 30 min. The mean time for removal of the catheter post-procedure was 2.3 d. All patients died of malignancy with a mean follow-up time of 7.8 mo. No stent-related complication or stent obstruction was encountered.
CONCLUSIONS: One-step percutaneous transhepatic insertion of EMS is a simple procedure for resolving biliary obstruction and can effectively improve the patient’s quality of life.