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NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center - Center for Advanced Digestive Care

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center - Center for Advanced Digestive Care

Ampullary Lesions and Cancers

The ampulla of Vater is the junction where the bile duct and the pancreatic duct meet in the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). Cancer of this junction, called ampullary cancer, is rare, while ampullary lesions are common.

What symptoms are associated with these disorders?

Patients with ampullary lesions may experience jaundice, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, itchy skin, and abdominal pain.

How are they diagnosed and treated?

The following diagnostic tests may be performed by our Advanced Interventional Endoscopy Team to diagnose ampullary lesions and cancer:

  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Probe-based confocal endomicroscopy (laser to diagnosis in vivo cancerous lesion)
  • Snare biopsy and resection
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection

For more about these procedures, visit the Advanced Interventional Endoscopy page.

Surgery to remove the cancer is the most common treatment for ampullary cancer. (See pancreatic cancer section.)

How can I make an appointment to see an advanced endoscopist?

Our specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating ampullary lesions and cancers. An interdisciplinary team of gastrointestinal specialists in endoscopy, radiology, and surgery work together as a team to provide each patient with coordinated, advanced, and individualized care. Please contact our Advanced Interventional Endoscopy team to discuss your case.

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Confocal microscopy of ampullary cancer