The Center for Advanced Digestive Care employs a variety of approaches to remove or destroy stones in the biliary and pancreatic ducts, depending on their size and location. These include:
Choledochoscopy: Doctors use this approach to directly visualize the biliary tract using an endoscope through a "T-tube" or incision into the common bile duct. Small stones can be removed from the common bile duct during this procedure using laser therapy or electrohydraulic lithotripsy.
Pancreatoscopy: A small camera is placed inside the pancreatic duct to assess lesions, perform biopsies, and treat stones.
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): This procedure combines x-rays and the use of an endoscope. The scope is guided through the patient's mouth and throat, then through the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The physician can examine the inside of these organs and detect any abnormalities. A tube is then passed through the scope, and a dye is injected which will allow the internal organs to appear on an x-ray. Doctors can use ERCP in combination with other techniques to remove stones, particularly those in the common bile duct.
Lithotripsy of bile duct stones: Our doctors use high-energy shock waves or lasers to break up stones in areas such as the bile and pancreatic ducts.