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sphincter of oddi manometry

overview

The sphincter of Oddi is a muscle that opens and closes, controlling the flow of digestive liquids from the liver (bile) and pancreas (pancreatic juice) to the small intestine (duodenum). The sphincter of Oddi can malfunction and not open when it should, which lets digestive liquids back up and causes pain in the stomach. 
If you’re having problems, such as backed-up digestive fluids in the bile ducts from your liver, or backed up digestive fluids in your pancreas (pancreatitis), your doctor may recommend a procedure called sphincter of Oddi manometry, which is an advanced endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedure. It lets your doctor measure the pressures around the sphincter of Oddi muscle and take pictures of your digestive system. 
You may also need a sphincter of Oddi manometry if you’ve had abnormal liver tests, a complex biliary or pancreatic disorder, unexplained pancreatitis or unexplained upper abdominal pain.

what to expect

The procedure takes place at a hospital, surgery center or clinic. You usually are told to fast for about 8 hours beforehand, and you should avoid smoking and taking certain medications. You might be given antibiotic medication before the procedure to prevent infection. You may also receive a sedative. 
Your throat is numbed with a local anesthetic, and then a thin, flexible tube (endoscope) is inserted into your mouth, down your throat and esophagus and into your stomach, small intestine and bile duct. The tube is equipped with a tiny camera that transmits pictures that your doctor sees on a monitor. A small tube is placed in a bile duct near the sphincter of Oddi to measure how it is contracting and expanding. If a problem is found, such as a stone causing a blockage, your doctor might be able to treat it right then.

recovery

Afterward, you’ll rest while the sedation wears off, and then someone can drive you home. You’ll probably feel tired for the rest of the day, and you might have a sore throat for a day or two. You can resume normal activities as soon as you feel up to it.

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