An anomalous elongated pancreaticobiliary common channel encourages reflux up both the biliary tree and the pancreatic ductal system, resulting in progressive choledochal dilatation, cholangitis with ductal calculi, relapsing pancreatitis and malignant change. Transduodenal sphincteroplasty has been used to improve drainage from the abnormal channel. The use of endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) to establish drainage and minimize the surgical risks is reported in six symptomatic patients with mild choledochal dilatation (common bile duct diameter < 15 mm), a common channel < 15 mm in length and a distal stenosis. This was successful in five patients, who have no further symptoms. ES failed in the only patient with an undilated common channel and this patient went on to have open surgery. We believe ES to be safe and effective in the treatment of selected cases of long common channel.
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