Background and study aims: To study the effectiveness of endoscopic treatment for biliary stones in a large case list of patients treated in units with different experience and different workloads in a region of northern Italy. Patients and methods: We prospectively studied 700 patients undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or sphincterotomy, in 14 units (> or <200 examinations/year), for their first treatment of biliary stones. The difficulty of the examinations, the results in terms of clearance of the stones, and the late outcomes (24 months) were recorded. A questionnaire (GHAA-9modified) was administered 24 hours and 30 days after the procedure to measure patient satisfaction. Results: There were six units with a heavy workload and eight with a light schedule. There were 176 (25.1 %) difficult examinations (Schutz grades 3, 4, and 5). Stones were found in 580 (82.9 %) and were cleared in 504 of these patients (86.9%). No differences were observed in the clearance of stones for the different groups of difficulty and high- and low-volume centers. Over the 24-month follow-up period, 96 patients (13.7%) complained of recurrent symptoms and 44 (6.3%) had proof of stones. In all, 603 questionnaires were evaluable and more than 80% of patients expressed satisfaction. Conclusions: Our findings confirm the effectiveness of endoscopic treatment of biliary stones. However, the number of patients with symptoms (13.7) after 24 months, with or without persistence of stones, was not insignificant. It is feasible to record patient satisfaction, and in this series patients stated they were satisfied. Criticism mostly concerned pain control and explanations provided before the examination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)