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New Hope for Treating Biliary Stones

The biliary tracts drain the liver and gallbladder and can become susceptible to stones, causing digestive problems. Fortunately, advanced treatment is now available at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne.

Texas Health Cleburne recently introduced endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to its list of gastrointestinal services. Performed as a minimally invasive procedure, an ERCP is both a diagnostic and therapeutic treatment for biliary and pancreatic disorders.

“The most common use of ERCP is the removal of stones in the bile ducts,” says Yevgeniy Ostrinsky, M.D., gastroenterologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Cleburne. “ERCP also has a role in repairing bile leaks from trauma and surgery and in the treatment of bile ducts that have narrowed due to cancer or non-cancerous causes.”

Inside the Procedure

ERCP utilizes X-rays and a long, flexible tube called an endoscope to give the surgeon a detailed view of internal organs including the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas. For the procedure, the patient is given a sedative and the endoscope is threaded down the esophagus. Once the endoscope is in place, dye can be injected to identify stones or blockages, or small instruments can be inserted to remove or relieve obstructions.

Thanks to the new ERCP services, procedures that would normally require a stay in the hospital can be done quickly, and are intended to have as little an impact on the body as possible.

For more information about gastrointestinal services at a Texas Health hospital, please visit TexasHealth.org/digestive or call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355).

(Fall/Winter 2009)

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