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ERCP with Possible Sphincterotomy (What to Expect?)
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ERCP with Possible Sphincterotomy (What to Expect?)

I had my gall bladder removed six months ago.  Since then I have continued to have abdominal pains in my right side underneath my rib cage.  I was put on Actigall and after 4 weeks the pain  was starting to subside.  Unfortunately, during week number 5 I broke out in massive hives.  The doctors  think that this was an allergic reaction to the Actigall.  So they had me stop taking it.  I was put on the Actigall because they suspected that my bile was too grainy to pass through the biliary tract.  Unfortunately, after stopping the Actigall, my pains have returned stronger than ever.  I spoke to my Gastro doctor yesterday and he is referring me to his partner for a consult for an ERCP with a possible Sphincterotomy.  

I would like to hear from people who have had the ERCP and especially from those who have had to have the Sphincterotomy. Just curious as to what to expect.  I know there is up to a 10% chance of Pancreatitis.  Thanks in advance for your inputs.  Have a GREAT day!
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6 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I had a sphincterotomy done in May, and I was absolutley terrified about what to expect, my doctors told me I could have an acute attack right after and said they were keeping me overnight just in case, the procedure itself went alright, I didn't remember a thing{thank god!} and when I woke up I felt Like I was really drunk! I did get an acute attack that night and needed a shot of demerol, it wasn't a severe attack but it was enough to make tears come to my eyes, the next day they let me go home after I had some chicken broth and my pain subsided. I felt pretty weak after for about a day, but all in all it wasn't too bad. I soon go back for another though because it didn't work, I'm still having alot of problems with pain and diarrhea and I have a narrowing in my pancreatic duct that they want to take another look at, but I'll still be terrified even though I've already been through it! I wish you luck and hope everything goes smoothly for you!
Tanya:}
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi... sorry - can't offer you any insight on the Sphincterotomy, but I have had an ERCP. Like ttan1973 I was basically asleep throughout the whole thing. When I woke up I felt a little queasy, moreso than after other endoscopies I'd had, but nothing major. I had started to feel that way AS they were putting me under, and the difference this time had been they gave me some IV Benadryl for possible dye alleries. But overall the procedure was not too big a deal. After I walked off a little of the grogginess they let me go fairly quickly. I had no problem driving home.

I too was concerned about the post-ERCP pancreatitis risk, but I understand that the 10% statistic includes people who had pancreatitis going into it. If you have experienced doctors you should be fine.

Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I had my gallbladder removed about a month before you did and continued to have a lot of problems after the surgery.

I have had 2 ERCP's with sphincterotomies since May. They found that my bile duct was completely plugged off with sludge.

The procedures weren't bad - but I was really scared to have them done. I don't remember a thing about it.  I was a little sore that night - but other than that I felt ok.

Unfortunately the sphinterotomies did not relieve the pain and spasms. Everything that I eat bothers me.  I belch constantly - have you experienced any of that?

Good luck with the procedure and don't be worried.  I had myself so worked up about it and it wasn't bad.

Let us know how it goes
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Avatar_n_tn
I also had a ERCP done. I was one of the 10% that ended up with pancreatitis. I believe it is because they sent me home an hour after I woke up from the procedure. They let me go when I could drink a glass of water. But they also did remove stones from my bile duct & think a little one got sent into the pancreatic duct. Hense the pancreatitis. I also had 4 more ERCPs done after that because the cut they made healed over with scar tissue. I am young (28) & they believe the younger you are the faster your body tries to heal. Finally the placed a stent in my bile duct & I have had no real pain since then. I also never incurred pancreatitis after that 1st procedure. Good luck to you hope that helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your comments.  Like you were, I'm scared to death.  Since everything else has gone wrong I just expect to be one of the 10% that gets pancreatitis.  Unlike you, I'm old.  I was 41 in April.  I've suffered with the pain for over 6 months that I know I don't want this to continue to be a way of life.  If the ERCP and possible sphincterotomy makes sense, I'm all for the procedure.  I'll keep you posted on what the doctor says next week.  

Other than the pain after I eat or if I don't eat at all, I also have a nagging pain in my right side ALL THE TIME.  I think this has to do with the fact that 10 days after surgery I was readmitted to the hospital so that they could put a drain tube in my side.  Thought I had an infection.  For 2 1/2 hours they tried to insert the drain tube without giving me so much as an asprin.  Finally when they decided it wasn't working, they finally knocked me out.  I think the fact that they tried forcing the tube in my abdomen for so long that they may have damaged something.  This is another issue I'll discuss with the Gastro doctor on the 31st.  

Thanks again for your comments.  Have a GREAT day!
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Avatar_n_tn
Update:  Scheduled for the ERCP with Sphincterotomy on the 14th of November.  I'll keep you posted on how things turn out.  BTW, I'm scared to death!
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A related discussion, ERCP Again was started.
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A related discussion, Post ERCP Question was started.
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