The Trust is delighted to announce the introduction of an innovative endoscopic technique, Spyglass® ERCP in identification and treatment of complex biliary tract disorders, enabling earlier and more definitive diagnosis for our patients.
Introduced at St. Peter’s by Consultant Gastroenterologists, Dr Amitabh Naik and Dr Deb Majumdar and coming on the heels of a major expansion of our busy and efficient endoscopy unit, this technique promises to deliver high quality care, aiming for definitive diagnosis in unexplained biliary stricture (narrowing of the bile tube), and in treatment of large bile duct stones.
The technique involves inserting a special steerable miniature fibre-optic probe (attached to a camera head) into the bile duct through a standard ERCP endoscope. Using special forceps (Spybite®), biopsies can be taken from areas of the bile tube which were previously inaccessible, enabling an earlier and more definitive diagnosis. Additionally in patients with large bile duct stones, shock waves (Electro hydraulic lithotripsy) can be delivered directly inside the bile tube to disrupt the stones.
Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatobiliary Lead, Dr Deb Majumdar commented, “So far we have undertaken a few initial cases, the results of which have been extremely promising. The high quality optics of this equipment provides excellent visualisation of abnormal pathologies inside the bile tube. We are proud to have introduced this technique, available in only a few select centres in UK. In fact since we work in close collaboration with our regional hepatobiliary centre, in future we would expect to contribute to the treatment/investigations in a number of our regional hepatobiliary patients. This would be in keeping with our vision of developing the endoscopy unit at Ashford and St. Peter’s as the premier unit in the region.”
Dr Naik, Endoscopy Lead added, “Spyglass® ERCP will have a significant impact on hospitalisation of patients with large bile duct stones. Previously such patients would have required repeated procedures, and often hospital admissions. By early definitive treatment we aim to reduce such procedures and associated hospital stay significantly.”
Pictured above: Dr Amitabh Naik and Dr Deb Majumdar with members of the endoscopy team.