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Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography - Procedure and Results..Sometimes, when it comes to problems in the abdominal area, an ultrasound is not clear enough for a diagnosis. In such cases, an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) may be performed. This procedure gives the doctor a clear view of the duodenum, bile duct, pancreatic ducts, gallbladder and papilla of Vater.This procedure is usually performed under intravenous sedation without general anesthesia. This procedure involves the use of a duodenoscope, which can be described as a thin, long, flexible tube with a camera at one end. It also has a fiber optic bundle that transmits lights to the camera and a chip to transmit video images to a TV screen.This is inserted through the patient’s mouth and sent down the throat through the food pipe to the stomach and duodenum while the patient is lying on his or her back. The air pipe is left undisturbed so as to not interfere with the patient’s breathing. Since the patient is not under general anesthesia, he or she can move and turn according to the doctor’s needs. The papilla of Vater is a small nipple like structure with an opening to the bile duct and pancreatic duct. Once this has been identified, a small plastic catheter is passed through the duodenoscope into the bile duct or pancreatic duct through the papilla. Dye is then injected into the area and X-rays are taken of the bile ducts and pancreatic duct. In cases where a biopsy is needed, other instruments can also be passed through the endoscope. Plastic or metal stents can also be passed through this to relieve obstructions in the bile ducts and pancreatic ducts.ERCP can be used to diagnose and treat a number of conditions in the liver, bile ducts, gall bladder, pancreas and papilla of Vater. These include:• Blockage of the bile duct by gallstones, cancer, scars, tumors or compression from adjacent organs.• Jaundice due to an obstructed bile duct. This can also cause light stools and dark urine.• Persistent upper abdominal pain• Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite• Diagnosing a Dysfunctioning Sphincter of Oddi within the Papilla of VaterERCP can also be used to confirm pancreatic cancer and cancer of the bile duct. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the doctors can customize treatment according to the patient’s needs.
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COLON / RECTAL CANCEROVERVIEWColon cancer is cancer of the large intestine while rectal cancers occur in the last part of the colon. The two are combined and known as colorectal cancers and often begin as non-cancerous tissues known as polyps. The polyps over a period of time grow into cancerous cells. Polyps themselves do not have any symptoms but with their metamorphosis into cancerous cells they begin to exhibit certain evident symptoms.Regular check-up to identify the presence of polyps and their removal is suggested to ensure that the risk of colon cancer is lowered. Colorectal Cancer is caused by the genetic mutation of cells turning them from normal to abnormal cells in the colon. The exact cause of the mutation is yet unascertained.Adhering to a healthy lifestyle and staying away from smoking, drinking & drug abuse helps decrease the risk of cancer. Including fibers in diet and following a healthy fitness regime is also helpful.SYMPTOMSThe common symptoms of Colorectal Cancer can be enumerated as the following• Rectal bleeding or blood in stools• Frequent diarrhea or constipation• Abdominal discomfort - gas, cramps etc., • Unexplained weight loss• Excessive & frequent fatigueCAUSES & RISK FACTORSColorectal Cancer is caused by the genetic mutation of cells turning them from normal to abnormal cells in the colon. The exact cause of the mutation is yet unascertained. A low-fiber, high-fat diet also increases the risk of colorectal cancer as does type-2 diabetes, sedentary lifestyle and excessive smoking and drinking.DiagnosisStool testColonoscopy (painless)Sigmoidoscopy
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