Prevalence of Anesthetic and Gastrointestinal Complications of Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography

Background: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is an endoscopic method for treatment of many biliary diseases. With respect to rapid recovery and more patient comfort, this procedure is currently performed under light general anesthesia (GA) or conscious sedation. Objectives: The current study aimed to clarify that intravenous sedation or light general anesthesia can be performed without great fear of anesthesia related complications in ERCP patients and sedative doses of propofol can be used safely in outpatient settings under the supervision of an expert anesthesiologist. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study on 1023 ERCP patients under light GA during 2014 - 2018 in Qom, Shahid Beheshti Hospital. Data were collected by a checklist and were analyzed by using chi-square test in SPSS V.22. Results: From 1023 patients, 501 (48.97 %) were male and 522 (51.03 %) were female with a mean age of 47.2 ± 6.7 years. The most common finding in ERCP was choledocholithiasis (76.15 %). The most common complication was hemodynamic instability (37.01 %) followed by desaturation (11.65 %) both of them ware anesthesia related. Prevalence of GI (gastrointestinal) related complications was 13.39 %. The most common GI related complications were pancreatitis (7.92 %) and bleeding (3.32 %). Total mortality rate was 0.88 %. Conclusions: ERCP-related complications are inevitable but can be controlled by early diagnosis and clinical experience. Severe complications and high risk patients may increase the mortality and morbidity of the procedure. Anesthesia related complications are more frequent than GI related unwanted events. Fortunately, the most common anesthesia related complications are readily manageable and are minor in nature when an expert anesthesiologist is present in the scene. Close monitoring of the patient’s vital signs should be the mainstay of the safe procedure.