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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2009 April; 91(3): 270.
PMCID: PMC2765028
Technical Notes and Tips
Bruce Campbell, Section Editor

‘The Hillingdon Hoover’

In response to recent concerns about complications and litigation following gallstone spillage without removal during laparoscopic cholecystectomy,1 we suggest a simple, cheap and effective technique to remove loose gallstones. Standard 5-mm suction/irrigation laparoscopic sets cannot aspirate larger stones; whilst wider bore devices are available, they cost approximately £200. A length of standard suction tubing (10 mm; cost 60p) is prepared by cutting two small holes near the distal end with a third 30 cm from the end. The tube passes through the 10/12-mm epigastric port and, with digital control over the third hole, stones are ‘hoovered’ up.

Figure 1

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‘The Hillingdon Hoover’


1. Mullerat J, Cooper K, Box B, Soin B. The case for standardisation of the management of gallstones spilled and not retrieved at laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2008;90:310–2. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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