This report evaluates the use of a new device for destruction of gall stones, the Kensey-Nash Lithotrite (Baxter Corporation, California, USA). The principle of the instrument is that of a liquidiser with an impeller that emulsifies stones. Twenty five patients were treated; 13 patients were considered unfit for conventional treatment (complex group) and 12 elected to have the procedure (non-complex group). In the complex group nine patients were treated under local anaesthesia. Only six of the 13 patients had a clear gall bladder at the end of the first procedure, but after further treatments that included cholecystoscopy, endoscopic sphincterotomy, and percutaneous cholecystolithotomy 11 patients had a gall bladder free of stones. The morbidity was high, mainly due to pain and bile leaks, causing prolonged stays in hospital (median 18 days). In the non-complex group six patients had the procedure performed under local anaesthesia. Ten patients had a successful clearance of the gall bladder, and the remaining two patients had the stones removed at cholecystoscopy. Despite good clearance, the morbidity was high, with eight emergency admissions on account of complications and a prolonged duration of stay (median 13 days). In conclusion the technique is effective, but the morbidity is high. Further development is required if this technique is to be included in the alternative treatments for the management of gall stones.
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