We last mentioned Boston Sci’s Spyglass system in 2007. In case you missed it, this is a single-operator cholangioscopy (SOC) device, allowing doctors to more easily navigate the labyrinth that is the pancreatico-biliary system. Previously, this procedure required a two-endoscopist team with a duodenoscope and cholangioscope to directly visualize and manipulate the bile ducts. The Spyglass system makes possible for this to be done by a single operator – ostensibly, this reduces costs and should allay patient anxiety in the case of awake interventions.
The traditional approach to biliary imaging and intervention is ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography), but large or multiple cystic duct stones may be difficult to remove the traditional way – this is where cholangioscopic devices come in. In the October 2011 issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the system was shown to have an overall procedural success rate of 89%. This approach can be useful in the diagnosis of biliary problems, obtaining biopsies, and in intervening in the case of stones. The study followed nearly 300 patients at 15 centers in the U.S. and Europe.
“Study results reinforce what I have experienced in my own GI practice,” said study author Douglas Pleskow, M.D., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.”The SpyGlass System is a versatile and beneficial technology for a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic needs in endoscopic procedures. Having direct visual access to the bile ducts and pancreas allows physicians to deliver effective treatment in one procedure, thus improving patient care and potentially reducing costs.”
For those hard-core endoscopy junkies out there, Boston Scientific Endoscopy even has its own YouTube channel…