A new endoscopic device is enhancing Kingston Hospital’s gallstone surgical services for its patients.

The device, funded by Kingston Hospital Charity, is used during laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery for patients with gallstones. It provides a minimally invasive way to visualise the bile ducts and remove gallstones.

The device enables the upper gastrointestinal surgical team to provide a ‘one stop solution’ for patients, specifically those with acute cholecystitis and/ or acute pancreatitis and/ or recurrent pain associated with gallstones blocking the common bile duct (choledocholithiasis and jaundice).

The device enables surgeons to perform an emergency or elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy and remove gallstones from the common bile duct in one single operation. This ‘one-stop’ procedure has already been performed by the service on a number of occasions with positive results. This is an excellent complementary service to the Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) service that Kingston Hospital introduced last summer, also with the support of Kingston Hospital Charity. ERCP enables the endoscopist either to insert a stent in the bile duct, or to widen the bile duct to release the impacted stone, as a way of treating patients with jaundice.

Mr Ioannis Gerogiannis, Consultant General & Emergency Surgeon with a specialist interest in laparoscopic upper gastrointestinal, bariatric and abdominal wall hernia surgery said:

“This device gives our upper gastrointestinal and emergency cholecystectomy service the flexibility and ability to go one step further. We are able to treat patients in ‘one go’, sorting out gallstones in the bile duct and any problems with the gallbladder in the same operation, under one anaesthetic. It is early days, but I am confident that this will definitely make a real difference to patient care.”