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Endoscope Could Decrease Surgery Needs For Pancreatitis Patients

RM Pancreatitis


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As per the director of the Yale Center for Pancreatitis, thanks to the use of endoscopic ultrasound, patients dealing with jaundice and pain caused by blocked bile ducts may now be able to find relief via an endoscopic ultrasound, rather than surgery.

What is old becomes new again can ring true in the world of fashion, pop culture, and even health care. While this procedure has been around for years now, the professional at Yale Center are looking at and trying out new techniques in different areas as it relates to endoscopic ultrasounds.

During this procedure, an endoscope is slowly threaded down to an individual’s throat, then into the small intestine and stomach. It uses soundwaves to take images of a person’s internal organs.

County Times reported that the first two of these procedures were conducted in Connecticut, one of which was to open a blocked bile duct due to pancreatic cancer. As pancreatic cancer tapers the intestine, bile ducts are unable to properly drain, causing jaundice, where chemotherapy needs to come to a halt. Normally, doctors would request that the radiologist perform a drainage via the skin to remove bile externally; however, what is required for this is repeated attaching and emptying an external bag that gathers said bile.

What can be done now is an internal drainage procedure that requires an endoscopic ultrasound, where the bile can be drained internally. Once this is taken care of, the patient can recommence chemo, and move forward with their pancreatic cancer treatments.

The endoscopic ultrasound procedure can also help as a treatment option for pancreatitis. As the pancreatic duct that drains duodenum is severely narrowed or blocked due to the condition, it can be difficult to treat at times. Therefore, as it is isolated, this undrained area of the pancreas suffers with inflammation and recurrent pancreatitis. More often than not, this is managed by surgically removing the area of the pancreas, or surgically connecting a small bowel to the region of the pancreas.

Using and endoscopic ultrasound, this area of the pancreas can be drained internally, and a patient might not necessarily require major surgery, or even lose an area of the pancreas. It’s a win-win situation.

The very idea that differing healthcare procedures are being re-invented and used in other areas of medicine are phenomenal, and if patients can refrain from surgical operations this would not only help pancreatitis patients deal with their condition, but also assist to relieve some strain within medical centers and hospitals in North America, and worldwide.

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