MOST patients with carcinoma of the pancreas become jaundiced at some time during the course of their illness. Few of these patients have resectable tumors at the time of diagnosis.1 Therefore, a large group of patients with pancreatic cancer, in addition to a smaller group with various other malignant neoplasms, may benefit from a new technique of percutaneous biliary bypass (PBB).2 This procedure relieves obstructive jaundice by providing transhepatic antegrade catheter drainage of bile into the duodenum.
Percutaneous biliary bypass is safer than surgical bypass for that group of patients in whom advanced age, intrahepatic disease, debilitating malignant disease, or concurrent medical disease have led to high postoperative mortality and significant morbidity.1,3,4
The authors have reviewed the records of ten patients treated by one of us (C.C.) using PBB in 1978 as an alternative to surgery to ascertain the feasibility, patient acceptance, and survival time associated with