Benign postoperative biliary strictures. Operate or dilate?

H. A. Pitt, S. L. Kaufman, J. Coleman, R. I. White, J. L. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At The Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1979 through 1987, 42 patients had 45 procedures for benign postoperative biliary strictures. Three patients were managed with both surgery and balloon dilatation. Twenty-five patients underwent surgical repair with Roux-Y choledocho- or hepaticojujunostomy with postoperative transhepatic stenting for a mean of 13.8 ± 1.3 months. Twenty patients had balloon dilatation a mean of 3.9 times and were stented transhepatically for a mean of 13.3 ± 2.0 months. The two groups were similar with respect to multiple parameters that might have influenced outcome. Mean length of follow-up was 57 ± 7 and 59 ± 6 months for surgery and balloon dilatation, respectively. No patients died after any of the procedures. The same definition of a successful outcome was applied to both groups and was acieved in 88% of the surgical and in only 55% of the balloon dilatation patients (p < 0.02). Significant hemobilia occurred more often with balloon dilatation (20% vs. 4%, p < 0.02). The total hospital stay and cost of balloon dilatation was not significantly different from surgery. We conclude that surgical repair of benign postoperative strictures results in fewer problems that require further therapy. Nevertheless balloon dilatation is an alternative for patients who are at high risk or who are unwilling to undergo another operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-427
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Benign postoperative biliary strictures. Operate or dilate?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this