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The London Clinic is the first private hospital in the UK to offer patients SpyGlass® cholangioscopy technology.  

This minimally invasive procedure helps diagnose and treat conditions that results in the narrowing or obstruction of the bile duct, including:

  • bile duct stones
  • pancreatic duct stones 
  • benign tumours
  • malignant tumours  

These conditions can cause pain in your abdomen, jaundice, or other abnormalities that show up in blood tests or on scans.

Conventionally endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is used to help diagnose and treat conditions of the bile ducts. 

However, if ERCP is unsuccessful or fails to establish a clear diagnosis, patients at The London Clinic can now be considered for SpyGlass cholangioscopy. 

How the SpyGlass works

The SpyGlass cholangioscope is a very thin (3mm) steerable endoscope that has a tiny camera on the end. This allows the consultant to visually examine the inside of the bile ducts.

SpyGlass promo image

This may then allow abnormalities to be carefully targeted, for example with a biopsy. 

When treating stones, the SpyGlass cholangioscope can be inserted right up to the stone and under a direct view shock waves can be fired through the cholangioscope using electrohydraulic lithotripsy to break them up.

Balloons and baskets are then used to remove these fragments. 

Dealing with strictures

When diagnosing and treating narrowings (‘strictures’) of the bile duct the endoscopist is able to make a clearer assessment to whether the narrowing is caused by a benign or cancerous disease by using the SpyGlass cholangioscope to inspect the lining of the bile duct.

If the cause is benign many strictures can be opened up with balloons or stents. 

If the stricture might be due to cancer, biopsy forceps can be passed down the cholangioscope which allows direct samples from abnormal areas of the bile duct to be taken. These biopsies will then be sent to our pathologists to help make a clear diagnosis. 

Main switchboard: +44 (0) 207 935 4444

Treatment enquiries: +44 (0) 207 616 7693Consultant appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7693 Prices for self funding patients: +44 (0) 203 219 3315Physiotherapy appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7651X-ray and scan appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7653Invoice and payment enquiries: +44 (0) 207 616 7708

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