Current treatment of benign biliary strictures

Authors Guido Costamagna, Ivo Boškoski.


Endoscopy is a widely used approach for the treatment of benign biliary strictures. Most common benign biliary strictures amandable to endoscopic treatment are post-cholecystectomy, dominant biliary strictures due to primary sclerosing cholangitis, biliary anastomotic strictures occurring after liver transplantation, and common bile duct strictures due to chronic pancreatitis. Surgery is a valid option in cases of complete transection or ligation of the common bile duct, in selected patients with benign strictures related to chronic pancreatitis, and in noncompliant patients. In any case, even in these patients, endoscopy should always be attempted, because it is safe and repeatable. Endoscopic treatment consists of passing the stricture and placement of at least one large bore plastic stent, followed by further sessions of stenting with multiple plastic stents. Temporary placement of multiple plastic stents is the recommended approach in patients with benign biliary strictures. Self-expandable metal stents have a larger diameter compared to plastic stents, and can be covered and uncovered. Placement of uncovered metal stents in patients with benign biliary strictures is strongly discouraged. However, covered selfexpandable
metal stents can be safely placed in selected patients.

Keywords Endoscopy, benign biliary strictures, surgery

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