Excavation of a fossilized biliary stent: demonstration of extraction methods for migrated biliary stent

Open AccessPublished:July 03, 2018DOI:
      A 60-year-old man presented with right lower-quadrant abdominal pain and fever. A CT of the abdomen showed acute appendicitis and also an incidental biliary stent (Fig. 1A). The patient had undergone ERCP 6 years earlier but was never followed up for stent removal. ERCP showed a proximally migrated biliary stent. Stent extraction was attempted by pulling an extraction balloon alongside the stent, but it met resistance at the ampulla. After sphincteroplasty, further attempts at removal with the extraction balloon and various other instruments were unsuccessful. The stent was cannulated with a guidewire; we attempted to extract it by bowing the papillotome inside the stent lumen but without success. A screw-type stent extractor was inserted over the wire into the distal end of the stent. Although the distal end was pulled into the duodenum, eventually it broke off. An attempt at extraction with a snare resulted in the stent breaking off multiple times. A cholangiogram showed a large filling defect surrounding the stent in the common bile duct (Fig. 1B), and it was determined that the stent was embedded or “fossilized” in this stone, which likely had formed around the stent over the years (Fig. 1C). After adequate laser lithotripsy of the stone around the stent and removal of numerous stone fragments (Fig. 1D), the remainder of the stent was successfully extracted from the bile duct by use of a metal basket. Occlusion cholangiography and repeated cholangioscopy confirmed complete removal of the stone.
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      Figure 1A, Coronal CT view of abdomen and pelvis, showing incidental biliary stent (yellow arrow). B, Fluoroscopic view of biliary stent during ERCP with a filling defect in the common bile duct surrounding the stent consistent with stone (red arrow). C, Cholangioscopic view of the biliary stent, which was “fossilized” and embedded in the common bile duct stone. D, Cholangioscopic view of laser lithotripsy of stone around the stent.
      Stent migration occurs in 5% to 10% of patients undergoing biliary stent placement. The retrieval techniques of a migrated biliary stent can be divided into 3 categories. First is direct traction, which involves grasping the stent directly with a basket, forceps, snare, or sphincterotome. Second is indirect traction, which is performed by inflating a balloon above or alongside the migrated stent and pulling toward the distal duct. Third is retrieval after cannulation of the duct. Once the duct has been cannulated, a variety of over-the-wire accessories can be used. Our video demonstrates methods from all 3 categories (Video 1, available online at Laser lithotripsy in conjunction with retrieval of a migrated biliary stent has not been reported earlier, to our knowledge.
      In conclusion, this video shows a case of a proximally migrated biliary stent that resulted in a difficult extraction due to stone formation around the stent, sometimes referred to as a “lollipop stone.” The video demonstrates various retrieval methods, including laser lithotripsy to free the stent from the surrounding stone.


      All authors disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this publication.

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