Endoscopic removal of malfunctioning biliary self-expandable metallic stents

Pietro Familiari, Milutin Bulajic, Massimiliano Mutignani, Linda S. Lee, Gianluca Spera, Cristiano Spada, Andrea Tringali, Guido Costamagna

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

98 Citazioni (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Endoscopic removal of malfunctioning self-expandable metallic biliary stents (SEMS) is difficult and not well described. The aim of this study is to review the indications, the techniques, and the results of SEMS removal in a cohort of patients with malfunctioning stents. METHODS: All patients who underwent an attempt at endoscopic removal of biliary SEMS over a 5-year period were retrospectively identified. The main indications for SEMS removal were the following: distal migration of the stent or impaction to the duodenum, impaction into the bile-duct wall, tissue ingrowth, and inappropriate length of the stent causing occlusion of intrahepatic ducts. SEMS were removed by using foreign-body forceps or polypectomy snares. RESULTS: Endoscopic removal of 39 SEMS (13 uncovered and 26 covered) was attempted in 29 patients (17 men; mean age, 66 years). SEMS extraction was attempted after a mean of 7.5 months (8.75 months standard deviation) post-SEMS insertion. Removal was successful in 20 patients (68.9%) and in 29 SEMS (74.3%). Covered SEMS were effectively removed more frequently than uncovered ones: 24 of 26 (92.3%) and 5 of 13 (38.4%), respectively (p < 0.05). No major complications were recorded. Multivariate analysis showed that the time interval between insertion and removal, SEMS length, stent-mesh design (zigzag vs. interlaced), and indication for removal were not predictive of success at stent removal. CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopic removal of biliary SEMS is feasible and safe in more than 70% of cases. Because only 38% of uncovered SEMS were removable, the presence of a stent covering is the only factor predictive of successful stent extraction. The presence of diffuse and severe ingrowth was the main feature limiting SEMS removal
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)903-910
Numero di pagine8
RivistaGastrointestinal Endoscopy
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2005


  • ERCP
  • biliary metal stent
  • endoscopy
  • stent removal


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