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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.

Specialists at the Center for Advanced Digestive Care (CADC) at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center are very experienced in diagnosing and treating ampullary lesions and cancers. Gastrointestinal specialists in endoscopy, radiology, and surgery work together as an interdisciplinary team to provide each patient with coordinated, advanced, and individualized care. Please contact our Advanced Interventional Endoscopy team to discuss your case.

What symptoms are associated with ampullary disorders?

Patients with ampullary lesions may experience:

  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Itchy skin
  • Abdominal pain

How are these lesions 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 diagnose cancerous lesions)
  • Snare biopsy and resection
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection

To learn more about endoscopic procedures, visit the Advanced Interventional Endoscopy page.

Surgery to remove a tumor is the most common treatment for ampullary cancer. (Learn more in the Pancreatic Cancer section.)