Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC
Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Peoria, AZ & Scottsdale, AZ
If you have chronic pancreatitis, your risk for pancreatic duct stones increases. At Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC, Teodor Pitea, MD, and Rawad Mounzer, MD, offer comprehensive treatment services for painful duct stones at their offices in Peoria, Scottsdale, and Phoenix, Arizona. The providers focus on reducing your risk of complications relating to the stones and improving the function of your pancreas. To learn more about treatment options available for pancreatic duct stones, call the Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.
Pancreatic Duct Stones Q&A
What are pancreatic duct stones?
Your pancreas is an organ responsible for producing digestive enzymes to break down the foods you eat. The pancreatic duct is a tube that drains these enzyme fluids from your pancreas into your small intestine.
When calcium deposits build up in your pancreas, they may form stones that sit in the pancreatic duct. These stones can block the flow of digestive enzymes from your pancreas, especially if they grow very large.
This blockage can cause enzymes to become active inside your pancreas and damage the organ’s tissue lining. Stones can also interfere with the release of insulin hormones and lead to elevated blood sugar levels and diabetes.
What causes pancreatic duct stones?
The formation of pancreatic duct stones is rare but can occur in those who have chronic pancreatitis. This condition is a progressive disease that involves the destruction of pancreatic tissue that leads to severe and chronic pain.
Your risk for chronic pancreatitis may increase due to alcohol abuse or malnutrition. The stones that form may start as small as a grain of sand but grow larger over time.
Depending on the size of your pancreatic duct stones, you may not experience symptoms, or your symptoms may be severe enough to interfere with your quality of life.
When should I seek treatment for pancreatic duct stones?
You can schedule a diagnostic evaluation for pancreatic duct stones at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC if you have persistent and severe pain in your upper abdomen.
You may notice that pain lasts for several minutes or several hours. Pain can also radiate into your back and up into your shoulder blades. In some cases, pain occurs episodically, occurring every few weeks, months, or years.
Other common symptoms of pancreatic duct stones include sweating and vomiting.
How are pancreatic duct stones treated?
The team at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC offers several treatments for pancreatic duct stones. Depending on the size of the stones, you may need medications to dissolve small duct stones.
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a non-surgical procedure that breaks up duct stones using soundwaves. Once broken up, you may be able to eliminate the stones naturally.
Broken stone pieces and larger duct stones may require endoscopy to remove part of your pancreas or change pancreatic fluid flow around the obstruction. Your provider may suggest an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
ERCP involves making a small incision at the opening of your pancreatic duct and using a balloon to remove the stone.
If you need a diagnostic evaluation for pancreatic duct stones, call the Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.
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