LITTLE ROCK - Many people are familiar with kidney stones or gallstones in the gallbladder, but a small percentage of those with gallstones will have gallstones in the bile duct. Previously, patients in Arkansas with particularly difficult bile duct stones would need invasive surgery or would be sent out of state. Now, there is another option. The first procedure utilizing electrohydraulic lithotripsy (EHL) to break up gallstones in the bile duct in Arkansas has been performed at Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock by Dr. Ali Khan, gastroenterologist.
EHL can be used to fragment common bile duct stones that are particularly large or difficult and would not do well with standard endoscopy or have failed with it previously. A shock wave, sent via probe to the stone, is able to disintegrate the stone in seconds. The EHL procedure is a valuable tool that allows for a more efficient means of breaking up the stones. Now, with EHL technology, the stones are broken up quickly and much more easily, and patients are potentially able to avoid major surgery.