Background and Aims: Bile leaks are uncommon but are a painful postoperative complication of hepatobiliary interventions. Many authors advocate treating them with biliary stenting. We compared the outcomes in patients treated with endoscopic biliary sphincterotomy (EBS) alone versus EBS with biliary stenting. Methods: We reviewed charts of patients treated endoscopically for bile leak from 2009 to 2015 at our tertiary care center. Based on endoscopists' practice preference, patients underwent EBS alone or with a biliary stent. Clinical resolution of bile leak and total number of endoscopic and nonendoscopic interventions were compared between patients treated with EBS alone versus EBS with a biliary stent. Results: Fifty-eight patients were included; etiology was cholecystectomy (52), hepatic resection (5), and liver trauma (1). The leak was from the cystic duct (22), duct of Luschka (23), common bile, or hepatic duct (2), and intrahepatic duct (11). Thirty-seven patients had EBS alone (EBS group), and 21 had stents (stent group). Single intervention resolved the bile leak in 34 (92%) patients in EBS group and 19 (90%) in the stent group (p = 0.85). Resolution was slower (p = 0.02) and more patients required second intervention (p < 0.01) in the stent group. Conclusion: EBS with or without a biliary stent is highly effective in the management of bile leak. Clinical resolution of the bile leak is quicker with EBS alone, requires fewer interventions, and may cost less.
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