Through the generosity of our supporters, Kingston Hospital has bought two specialist scopes for its Endoscopy Unit.

These scopes enable specialist clinicians to carry out Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) – a highly complex procedure which is used to treat patients with jaundice – either due to pancreatic cancer or a stone obstructing the bile duct. The scope enables the endoscopist either to insert a stent in the bile duct, or to widen the bile duct to release the impacted stone. This can be a lifesaving procedure for patients with impacted gallstones who can get very unwell, very fast.

Consultant Gastroenterologist and Endoscopy Lead, Dr Ralph Greaves, said:

Everyone is very excited, and work is going extremely well here. We’ve already carried out five ERCP procedures since early July. Being able to deliver this service is a huge benefit to the local population and I would like to express my thanks to the supporters of Kingston Hospital Charity for providing the vital funding to develop this specialist service.

Previously, inpatients requiring an ERCP procedure would need to be transferred to St George’s Hospital. Now with the new equipment in place, inpatients at Kingston Hospital can be treated on-site, without delay, ensuring a more comfortable patient experience and shorter length of stay in hospital. The specialist equipment also offers Kingston Hospital staff the opportunity to be trained in this highly complex procedure.

The Endoscopy Unit runs two clinics a week and expects to treat about 200 patients a year using this new service. This equipment is a vital addition to the new Endoscopy Unit at Kingston Hospital which was opened in September 2020.