Repeated dilatation of biliary strictures in patients with sclerosing cholangitis through a subcutaneously placed afferent limb of a choledochojejunostomy is technically feasible and safe. This study is a prospective 15-year evaluation of 36 patients treated by repeat dilatation through this jejunal limb. There was one operative death and one major complication of dilatation. The 5-year survival of all patients was 74%. If patients with cirrhosis or unproven cholangiocarcinoma at the time of operation are not included, the 5-year survival is 86%. The 15-year survival of all patients was 30%; it was 64% if those with cirrhosis and unproven cholangiocarcinoma at the time of operation are not included. Six patients are presently alive with an average survival of 159 months. The study suggests that a combination of repeated dilatations combined with transplantation is the approach of choice in selected patients.
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