Advanced Diagnostics for Complex Pancreatic & Biliary Disorders in Denver, CO
When patients are faced with complex pancreatic and biliary disorders, an accurate diagnosis is a crucial step in providing effective treatment. As the premier GI practice in the Denver, CO region, Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology specializes in providing advanced diagnostic procedures, including endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with sphincter of Oddi manometry (SOM). This powerful combination of X-rays and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is used to study the biliary and pancreatic ducts, allowing our experienced medical professionals to assess their condition and form a diagnosis with precision.
If you’ve been experiencing prolonged stomach pain or unexplained gastrointestinal problems, let us guide you toward improved health. Our mission is clear – to provide you with the finest care possible. With a team of experienced specialists dedicated to solving even the most complex cases, we are committed to delivering exceptional outcomes and restoring your health and well-being. Schedule a consultation with our thoughtful and compassionate medical team today.
What is ERCM with SOM?
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with sphincter of Oddi manometry (SOM) is an advanced, highly specialized diagnostic and therapeutic procedure used to evaluate and treat disorders of the ducts that drain the liver and pancreas. It uses a combination of X-rays and an endoscope to obtain detailed images of the bile and pancreatic ducts, as well as measure the pressure within the sphincter of Oddi.
The bile ducts are thin tubes that carry bile – a fluid produced by the liver – to the small intestine. They play an essential role in digestion and breaking down fats you consume from food. Pancreatic ducts transport pancreatic juices containing enzymes necessary for digestion from the pancreas to the small intestine. The sphincter of Oddi is a muscular valve that controls the flow of bile and pancreatic juices into the small intestine. By evaluating the structure and functionality of these vital digestive ducts, ERCP with SOM allows our specialists to identify any blockages or other abnormalities.
Why ERCM with SOM Treatment Is Used
ERCP-SOM tests are essential for patients with suspected pancreatic or biliary disorders. These outpatient procedures are especially beneficial for individuals struggling with chronic, unexplained stomach pain and to investigate abnormal liver test results. The ERCP-SOM procedure allows our specialists to gather precise information about the condition of biliary and pancreatic ducts, providing insights into the underlying causes of symptoms. ERCP-SOM is commonly used to diagnose and manage conditions such as:
- Gallstones & Bile Duct Stones – ERCP-SOM helps identify the presence and location of gallstones or stones in the bile duct.
- Biliary Strictures – Evaluating the bile ducts helps detect biliary strictures or narrowing in the bile duct that may result from conditions like primary sclerosing cholangitis or chronic pancreatitis.
- Pancreatic Abnormalities – The procedure can detect irregularities in the pancreatic duct, such as strictures, acute or chronic pancreatitis, or pancreatic pseudocysts.
- Biliary or Pancreatic Tumors – ERCP-SOM aids in the sampling and analysis of tumors in the bile duct or pancreatic duct.
What to Expect From the Procedure
Before the Procedure
You’ll likely be asked to fast for several hours to ensure a clear view during the examination. Our team will provide specific instructions regarding medications and any necessary preparation steps.
During the Procedure
The ERCP-SOM procedure typically takes 1-2 hours to perform. You can expect to receive sedation for your comfort during the procedure. You will be in a relaxed state but still be able to cooperate with the doctor. A thin, flexible tube called an endoscope will be gently inserted through your mouth and guided down into your esophagus, through your stomach, and finally, into your duodenum. A small, specialized camera mounted onto the endoscope sends images in real-time to a monitor, allowing the doctor to locate the bile and pancreatic ducts. A smaller tube called a catheter is inserted through the endoscope, through which a special dye called contrast medium is injected to make the ducts more visible on X-ray images. This helps the doctor identify any abnormalities or blockages.
If necessary, the pressure within the sphincter of Oddi can be measured using specialized instruments. The doctor can also use tiny tools to perform therapeutic interventions like breaking up or removing gallstones, opening narrowed ducts, placing stents to relieve blockages, performing a biopsy, and removing tumors.
After the Procedure
You will be monitored in a recovery area until the sedation wears off. You may experience minor, temporary throat discomfort or bloating. Our team will provide post-procedure instructions to you – or a family member or friend who is with you – including any dietary restrictions and medication recommendations. In some cases, the results of the procedure may be available shortly after the procedure. The doctor will also share the results with you or, with your permission, with the family member or friend you brought with you.
RMG – Improving Your Health & Quality of Life
If you’re suffering from severe, long-lasting stomach pain and discomfort and are unsure why, you deserve answers. Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology has several convenient locations throughout the Denver region to provide patients like you with the highest level of compassionate care designed to determine the source of your pain, provide relief, and improve your health and quality of life.
Through ERCP-SOM testing, our medical professionals can form an accurate diagnosis of issues associated with the gallbladder, pancreas, liver, and biliary system, offer therapeutic interventions when appropriate, and develop personalized treatments tailored to your unique and individual needs. Schedule a consultation online or contact our experienced specialists today.Go back