RESEARCH: Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has become the first provider in its area to adopt a new method of shattering gallstones.

A statement says: “Traditionally, patients needing treatment for gallstones, many of them elderly, have faced major surgery and hospital stays of up to ten days, or frequent visits to hospital for treatment to put in stents.

“Now the foundation trust has invested £50,000 in the new SpyGlass equipment, making it one of only eight other centres in the country carrying out the new procedure.

“SpyGlass consists of a baby endoscope – a tiny flexible tube and eye piece to see inside the body – which can pass up a standard endoscope and into the bile duct to directly visualise abnormalities.

“Tiny forceps can then be used by the doctor to take a biopsy, to aid diagnosis and management of disease or a lithotripter – a device which emits electrohydraulic shock waves – can pass up the baby scope to shatter gallstones. It will be used on patients who have stones which can’t be removed surgically or using standard endoscopic techniques.”