well I don;t know exactly where the stones were located in my duct but I had (if I remember correctly) 6 of them in there.
The synptoms were similar to gallstones except I didn't have the pain and sensitivity accociated with everything happening in the gallbladder.
constipation, acid reflux, an EXTREME stabbing pain occasionally in the upper abdomen area.
after a sonogram revealed nothing, the doc performed an ERCP where they pass a camera down your throat and through the stomach and up the duct. The stones were found and using laser, were broken up so they could pass.
Ive been sent to the hospital TWICE for a horrible pain smack dab in the center of my stomach at the very very top. They did ultrasounds of my gallbladder and every other organ in my chest, stomach and pelvis and they all looked PERFECT which is frustrating because no one knows whats wrong with me. I am 15 weeks pregnant so even having the endoscopy (which also showed nothing abnormal) was an ordeal. I started hypervetilating and remember everything - it was horrible.
Anyways the ONLY thing the gastroenterologist could find even slightly abnormal was my bile duct and he said it was still within "normal" range but on the higher end. He said he was FOR SURE there wasnt anything in my gallbladder but I just dont know if I could go through another endoscopt half awake ::::shudder::::: he mentioned and MRI maybe but I dont know how effective that would be for finding stones in the bile duct unless someone here has had that done and they found something?!
your symptoms and test results sound very similar to mine as I went through my ordeal.
an ERCP, if the doc chooses to do it, is not bad. I was given a sedative and was told I would be able to watch the whole thing on the TV but I fell asleep and missed the show. Darn.
I did get pictures of the stones though.
my understanding is that if the bile is not being dumped into the intestines as intended, it gets abosrbed and causes a rise in the bilirubin in your bloodstream. I don;t think mine was ever checked but I did start to exhibit sign of jaundice shortly before the procedure.
An MRCP is an MRI procedure that looks for stones in the duct. It is noninvasive (some may inject contrast but most don't) and only takes about 1/2 an hour. It is quite simple really. You just lay there and hold your breath for about 24 seconds when the tech tells you.
well, it sounds as if there are better methods than the ERCP to diagnose. The one thing about the ERCP though is that they can also treat while they are there.
Kind of a one stop shop.
Maybe they did it with me was the suspicion was so great that the ERCP was mostly confirmation of a good doctors belief of stones in the duct and they figured they had the option of treatment while they were there. I don;t know. I;m not a doc.
How long have these HIDA and MRCP scans/tests been available/used? If they were not common 12 years ago, that could also be the reason for not utilizing them.
In my case, I had no ill side effects and I felt great since the stones were removed.