Update on biliary and pancreatic sphincterotomy

Yan Bakman, Martin L. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize the indications, success rates and complications associated with endoscopic sphincterotomy and endoscopic balloon dilation (EBD). RECENT FINDINGS: Pancreatic and/or biliary sphincterotomies are essential components of most current therapeutic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). A current large body of evidence has established biliary sphincterotomy as effective in extraction of bile duct stones. The most common complications of biliary sphincterotomy are post-ERCP pancreatitis, as well as acute or delayed hemorrhage, the risks for which can be stratified according to well described patient and procedure related factors. Evidence is accumulating that pancreatic sphincterotomy is useful in at least some settings for treatment of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, chronic pancreatitis, and pancreas divisum. EBD provides an adjunct or an alternative to biliary sphincterotomy for extraction of stones from the bile duct when routine biliary sphincterotomy is inadequate or risk excessive. SUMMARY: Sphincterotomy and EBD are useful in managing a variety of pancreatobiliary conditions. Attention to risks of these procedures is essential for their efficacy and safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-426
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in gastroenterology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012


  • biliary sphincterotomy
  • endoscopic balloon dilation
  • pancreatic sphincterotomy


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