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Leaving No Stones Behind: Gall Bladder Scoops


Gallbladders are an important component of the human digestive system. Like other parts of the body, it can suffer from harmful maladies. A common example is gallstones. If this occurs, the surgeon may choose to take out the gallstones using endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). The specialized instruments for removing the actual stones are gall bladder scoops. Often referred to as gall stone or gallstone scoops, these flat, thin instruments provide surgeons with the ability to enter and extract gallstones from the afflicted gall bladder.


Factors in Selection


Gallbladder stones represent a challenge to any surgeon. They tend to vary in basic characteristics. The two basic types are:

  1. Cholesterol: Yellowy-green in color, they are the most common type in America
  2. Pigment: Darker and smaller

 They range in size from particulate to large.

Other factors affecting their formation and characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Diet
  • Ethnicity

Such characteristics are important as they affect the selection of a gall bladder scoop for the procedure.


Types of Gall Bladder Scoops


Like the gall stones inflicting the bladder, gall bladder scoops are available in diverse sizes and shapes. They come in a range of sizes from small to large. Each company produces instruments capable of addressing the specific issues requisite for this specialized tool. Common models include:

  • Fergusson
  • Desjardin
  • Mayo
  • Moore
  • Luer-Koerte

The common material is stainless steel. This ensures the viability of autoclave washing as well as sterility. While most are rigid, many are flexible. The intent is to address all the needs of the surgeon as well as those of the patient.


Gall Bladder Scoops: Precision Counts


Overall, gall bladder scoops must be precise and suitable for the specific procedure – a sensitive and delicate operation. All must be able to pass through the bile duct before entering the gall bladder. They must then cleanly and accurately scoop or scrape the stones lodged within.