Background: Although endoscopic papillotomy is now considered established treatment for choledocholithiasis, therapeutic results of endoscopic papillotomy alone without subsequent cholecystectomy in patients with cholecystolithiasis have not been well evaluated. The aim of this study was to assess the long-term outcome of endoscopic papillotomy for these patients.
Methods: Patients admitted with choledocholithiasis and cholecystolithiasis from 1976 to 1993 were studied retrospectively. Of 385 patients in whom the bile duct was cleared by endoscopic papillotomy and endoscopic stone extraction, 371 patients (195 men and 176 women; mean age 65.4 years) were followed. Predisposing risk factors for late complications were analyzed.
Results: The mean duration of follow-up was 7.7 years. Cholecystitis and recurrence of choledocholithiasis as late complications occurred in 22 cases (5.9%) and 36 cases (9.7%), respectively. Cholecystitis, including 1 severe case, resolved with conservative treatment. Recurrent choledocholithiasis was successfully treated endoscopically except in 1 case. No significant risk factors were identified for cholecystitis. The presence of pneumobilia (p = 0.0016) and the need for lithotripsy (p = 0.0342) were found to be significant risk factors for the recurrence of choledocholithiasis.
Conclusions: Long-term outcome of endoscopic papillotomy in patients with choledocholithiasis and cholecystolithiasis was found to be relatively favorable. Cholecystectomy after endoscopic papillotomy is not always necessary in the management of cholecystolithiasis.