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HPB Surgery
Volume 7 (1993), Issue 1, Pages 25-32

Flushable Exo-Endodrainage: A Modified Palliative Approach to Non-Resectable Malignant Biliary Obstruction

1Hanusch Medical Center, Department of Surgery, Vienna, Austria
2Hanusch Medical Center, Department of Surgery, Heinrich Collinstr 30, Vienna A-1140, Austria

Received 28 September 1992

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The introduction of new imaging techniques has markedly improved the diagnosis of hepatobiliary disorders. Due to their anatomic situation, a substantial percentage of malignancies located near the hilus is not suitable for surgical management. We discuss an effective palliative intervention to relieve jaundice. In many instances drainage is a superior choice when biliodigestive anastomoses are not technically feasible and palliative resection carries a high complication rate.

We present an irrigatable exo-endodrainage method employing a modified port-a-cath system as a new alternative. In four patients, all older than 75 years, this system was implanted because of jaundice due to unresectable malignant stenosis of the extrahepatic bile duct. One patient (80 years old) died of pre-existing acute necrotizing pancreatitis, although hyperbilirubinemia was found to decrease on the 7th postoperative day. The other three patients showed complete normalization of their bilirubin levels and their port-a-cath systems remained open until their death (at 3 weeks, 6 months and 7 months respectively).