McGahan JP, Brock JM, Griffey SM, Browning P. A new method for thermocholecystectomy: initial experience and comparison with other techniques. Invest Radiol 1992;27:947–953.
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES. The authors tested the feasibility of thermocholecystectomy for gallbladder ablation in an animal model.
METHODS. Thermal treatment of the cystic duct followed by heating of the saline-filled gallbladder using a separately designed heater/expander was performed in 13 pigs (group I). In four animals, heating of the gallbladder alone was performed (group II). Two animals served as controls (group III). All animals were killed 12 weeks after treatment.
RESULTS. There was cystic duct occlusion in 10 (77%) of 13 of group I animals. In 6 (60%) of 10 of these animals with cystic duct occlusion, there was complete ablation of the gallbladder mucosa and complete obliteration of the gallbladder lumen. In group II animals, all cystic ducts were intact with an unchanged gallbladder volume in all four animals (100%), and normal gallbladder mucosa were intact in three (75%) of four animals. The gallbladders and cystic ducts in group III animals were normal.
CONCLUSIONS. This study demonstrates many technical difficulties with thermal cholecystectomy. However, under ideal conditions, permanent gallbladder ablation is feasible in our animal model using a specially designed heating system.
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