Information for the public

There is not enough evidence about how well this procedure works or how safe it is. This type of procedure can cause complications.

But people with this condition would otherwise need to have a permanent percutaneous cholecystostomy, which is when a catheter (flexible tube) is inserted through the skin on their tummy to drain away the fluid (bile) that builds up in the gall bladder. So it can be done as long as special arrangements are in place. This means you will have regular appointments afterwards to check how well it is working or if it has caused problems.

Acute calculous cholecystitis happens when a gallstone blocks an opening called the cystic duct, which drains bile from the gallbladder. Bile builds up in the gallbladder causing pain, nausea, vomiting and fever.

In this procedure, a tube called a stent is inserted into or across the cystic duct. It’s inserted via the catheter that was originally put in place through the skin into the gallbladder to relieve the acute cholecystitis. The aim of the procedure is to allow bile to flow through the tube, bypassing the blockage and preventing further obstruction.

The NHS website may have information on your condition and treatment options.

You can search the NHS website for information about consultants and hospitals that offer this procedure.

Is this procedure right for me?

You should be included in making decisions about your care.

Your healthcare professionals should explain the risks and benefits of this procedure and how it is done. They should discuss your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. They should offer you more information about the procedure. Your family or carers can be involved if you want or need them to be.

You will be asked to decide whether you agree (consent) to have the procedure. Find out more about giving consent to treatment on the NHS website.

Some questions to think about

  • How many appointments will I need?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • Will I have to stay in hospital?
  • What happens if it does not work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I do not want the procedure?
  • Are other treatments available?

More information

ISBN: 978-1-4731-4486-6

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