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Percutaneous Endoscopy and Image-guided Retrieval of Dropped Gallstones - A Case Series.

BACKGROUND: Recurrent abscesses can happen due to dropped gallstones (DGs) after laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). Recognition and appropriate percutaneous endoscopy and image-guided treatment options can decrease morbidity associated with this condition.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We report a minimally invasive endoscopy and image-guided technique for retrieval of dropped gallstones in a series of 6 patients (M/F=3/3; median age: 75.5 years [68 to 82]) presenting with recurrent or chronic intra-abdominal abscesses secondary to dropped gallstones. Technical success was defined as the visualization and retrieval of all stones. DGs were identified on pre-procedure imaging. Number of abscesses recurrence was 12 (1/6), 1 (3/6), and 0 (2/6) with a median interval of 2 months (1 to 21) between cholecystectomy and abscess development.

RESULTS: Percutaneous endoscopy and fluoroscopy guidance were utilized in all cases. Technical success was achieved in 4 patients (66%). The median procedure time was 65.8 minutes (39 to 136). The median fluoroscopy time and dose were 12.6 min (3.3 to 67) and 234 mGy (31 to 1457), respectively. There were no intraprocedure and postprocedure complications. No abscess recurrence was reported among successful procedures during a median follow-up of 193 days (51 to 308).

CONCLUSION: Percutaneous image and endoscopy-guided lithotripsy/lithectomy are safe and effective. This technique is a suitable alternative to open surgery for dropped gallstones.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level 4, Case Series.

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