As medical technology has advanced, the diagnosis and treatment of gallstones and bile duct stones have become quite easy. Apart from endoscopic examination or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), there are also other medical procedures that can be used for diagnosing and treating gallstones and bile duct stones.
Diagnosing Gallstones and Bile Duct Stones
Stomach doctors perform a range of medical procedures to diagnose gallstones and bile duct stones, including:
- Cholecystography is a type of X-ray that displays the flow of contrast fluid that passes through the large and small intestines and into the gallbladder.
- Blood tests help look for signs and symptoms of obstruction, jaundice, pancreatitis, and/or infections.
- Computer tomography scan, which is also known as CAT or CT scan.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or ERCP is a medical procedure that includes inserting an endoscope into the small intestine. During ERCP. A dye is also injected that enables the doctor to have a clear look at the ducts in the biliary system. ERCP is performed through the Division of Endoscopy, Hematology, and Gastroenterology.
- Sphincterotomy is another important medical procedure used for diagnosing gallstones and bile duct stones. It helps in opening the muscle sphincter wide so that the stones can be passed into the intestine easily.
Treating Gallstones and Bile Duct Stones
If gallstones or bile duct stones cause frequent symptoms, the doctor recommends the patient get surgical treatments. Some minimally invasive and traditional surgical treatment options are:
- Common Bile Duct Exploration is a common surgical process used for removing gallstones and bile duct stones. Notably, Common Bile Duct Exploration can be performed either laparoscopically or during the time between open cholecystectomy.
- ERCP or Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography is one of the most effective techniques for removing gallstones and bile duct stones. This procedure helps remove the stones that are stuck in the bile duct, this way the chances of developing pancreatitis and jaundice are also eliminated.
- Open Cholecystectomy is the surgery in which the gallbladder is removed. During this open procedure, the doctor uses general anesthesia; hence, the patient doesn’t feel any discomfort or pain. The doctor makes a five-inch incision in the upper midline or under the right rib cage, and then the gallbladder is removed. After this surgery for removing stones in the bile duct, the patient is required to spend at least four days in the hospital. As far as the recovery is concerned, the patient would need around four to six weeks to recover completely.
- Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is another useful procedure for removing gallstones and bile duct stones. Dur威而鋼
ing this procedure, the miniature instruments are operated under video laparoscopic monitoring. Although the patients are given general anesthesia, the length of the incisions is not longer than an inch. Moreover, since the procedure is less invasive, the patient experiences minimum pain. The recovery period isn’t prolonged either.
- Oral Dissolution Therapy is a non-surgical process used for treating gallstones and bile duct stones. During this procedure, the gallstones or bile duct stones are dissolved so that they can be excreted out of the body without needing any surgery.