A lot of medical advancements in the recent times have made a diagnosis of diseases much easier and quicker. This is especially true when it comes to the digestive tract. A rather long name for a diagnostic procedure to examine problems in your gall bladder, pancreas and liver are ERCP or Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.
The procedure is done under anesthesia and an endoscope is inserted through the mouth and guided to the bile duct. The endoscope is a flexible tube with a camera and a light at its end. The following list of conditions and diseases can be diagnosed using this method
- Gallstones –Gallstones are formed inside the gallbladder and can be viewed if they have come out of the gall bladder and are stuck in the bile duct.
- Infection – Any infection of the gall bladder, pancreas or the liver can be examined using this method.
- Pancreatitis – Inflammation of the pancreas can be visualized using this method.
- Tumors – Pancreatic tumors and cancer of the bile duct can also be seen.
Once the diagnosis is made, the following procedures may be performed to treat various conditions.
- Sphincterotomy–Sometimes the gallstones from the gallbladder can get stuck in the gall duct causing inflammation of the gallbladder and pancreas. So in order to allow the flow of bile juice, the pancreatic juice and the gall stones a small cut is made in the ducts.
- Gallstone removal –During the procedure, the gallstones can also be removed from the bile duct if it is obstructing the flow of bile juice.
- Stent placement –A bile duct stent is a tube that is inserted into the bile duct to keep a narrow duct open and allow the bile juice and the pancreatic juice to drain.