An innovative technique using a percutaneously placed guidewire allows for higher success rate for ERCP compared to balloon enteroscopy assistance in Roux-en-Y gastric bypass anatomy

Tarek Sawas, Andrew C. Storm, Fateh Bazerbachi, Chad J. Fleming, Eric J. Vargas, Vinay Chandrasekhara, James C. Andrews, Michael J. Levy, John A. Martin, Bret Thomas Petersen, Mark Topazian, Barham K. Abu Dayyeh

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Background: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is technically challenging in Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). Current approaches either have high failure rate, are resource intensive, or invasive. Objective: To describe successful adoption of an old technique for performance of ERCP in patients with RYGB anatomy employing enteroscopy with the assistance of a percutaneously placed guidewire, which facilitates both reaching and cannulating the major papilla. Method: A retrospective cohort study in a tertiary-care center. We included patients with RYGB from 2015 to 2017 who underwent ERCP. We compared success rate and adverse events between rendezvous guidewire-assisted (RGA) and balloon-assisted enteroscopy (BAE) ERCP techniques. Results: Thirty patients with RYGB underwent 62 ERCPs. The mean age was 62.2 ± 11 years with female predominance 83.3%. The procedures were performed using BAE 43/62 (69.3%), RGA 13/62 (21%), gastrostomy tube 5/62 (8.1%), and colonoscope 1/62 (1.6%). In patients with a native papilla (n = 37 ERCPs), clinical success rate with BAE was 36.8% compared to 100% with RGA (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in bleeding (P = 0.17), post-ERCP pancreatitis (P = 0.4), or luminal perforation (P = not estimated) between the two techniques in native papilla. The mean procedure time with the RGA was significantly shorter than successful BAE with mean difference: 33 min (95% CI 8–57 min, P = 0.01). Twenty-five ERCPs were performed in eight patients with non-native papilla. BAE success rate in non-native papilla was 95.8%. The mean procedure time of the BAE in non-native papilla was 111 ± 60 min. Native papillae were associated with a significantly higher BAE failure rate compared to non-native papillae (OR: 12; 95% CI 1.44–99.7, P = 0.02). Conclusion: In patients with RYGB, RGA appears to be highly successful and safe in achieving clinical success for patients with native papilla as compared to BAE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • ERCP
  • Rendezvous guidewire assisted
  • RYGB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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