ERCP to remove stones in bile duct.

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Hi, everyone. I've not yet got a date to see a consultant re. gallbladder removal, but I am having an ERCP procedure next Thursday, to remove several stones in my bile duct. Has anyone else had this procedure, as a non-emergency pateient, and, if so, what was it like/what were the after effects?

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  • Posted

    Very good luck! I haven't had that done but I'm sure it will go great. I have surgery scheduled for a large cyst in my common bile duct. A rare birth thing I'm told. Can't find anyone who has had my surgery yet. All my best to you💜

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  • Posted

    Hi Elizabeth

    I had two ERCPs.

    They sedate you. You are aware of what is going on at the time but the sedation makes you forget a lot of what happened afterwards.

    You lie on your left side and they insert a tube to hold your mouth open, through which the camera and other instruments are passed.

    I found the first one I had was ok. I could feel pressure as the surgeon pushed the instruments down my oesophagus. It felt a bit strange, but not painful or anything. It took about twenty minutes.

    The second one was unpleasant. It went on for an hour and I found it very invasive and uncomfortable. For some reason they hadn't given me as much sedative as the first time so I think that may have been why. A different surgeon performed it and he kept pushing on the tube and I kept gagging. But again it wasn't painful.

    They let you sleep for a while afterwards. I can't remember being taken to Recovery. You come round in Recovery and you have a drink of water. If you're ok after sipping the water they give you something light to eat as you've been nil by mouth for some hours. If you are ok after eating, a nurse comes and explains about the procedure. Then you're discharged. Sometimes patients are admitted overnight if it looks like there may be a reaction to the anaesthetic or some bleeding. I was fine but found they'd knocked a filling out of one of my teeth so I had then to go to my dentist to have it replaced.

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    • Posted

      Thank you. I only hope the expereience I had is more like your first than your second. How come you had to have 2 sessions?
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    • Posted

      Some people have more! Long story. Briefly:

      The first surgeon decided the stones were too big and two numerous to be moved. If they're bigger than the tube they insert, they can't get them out through it. As I'd had jaundice, he inserted a stent, which is a small tube or pipe, to keep the bile flowing from the liver. They must have decided to try again with a different surgeon, although the first surgeon was a senior consultant. The second guy replaced the stent (they often block if left in too long and the first one had been in for seven weeks at that point). However as he removed the first stent, he lost it. I remember they searched my mouth in case it was there! He had quite a job retrieving it. He still couldn't remove any stones. If they're too big to go up the tube, they're too big!

      Despite both reports clearly stating that, I was booked in for laparoscopic surgery. It would have been pointless removing the gallbladder with so many large stones left in the bile duct. That is why they had to do open surgery. My bile duct was cut vertically, the stones removed (all 60 of them!!) and it was stitched back up. Brilliant surgeon. He used the cholecystectomy incision to do the liver resection five weeks later to reduce scarring. I have a ten inch scar running horizontally across my body, but it's smooth and fading already.

      I am immensely grateful to his team as it has probably saved my life. Most gallbladder cancers are discovered too late. I hasten to add that what happened to me is extremely rare in the uk.

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  • Posted

    What symptoms have you had for the stuck stones?
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    • Posted

      Lots of pain just below my rib cage on the right, sometimes radiating to my back, nausea, headaches and if I get anywhere near constipated, the pain and nausea are much, much worse, so I have to take laxatives nearly every day.
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    • Posted

      Unrelenting bad pain centrally and right of centre. I was nauseous though not sick. Sometimes pain lasted up to four days. I couldn't eat or sleep during the attacks. I developed jaundice: yellowing of skin and whites of eyes, itching, pale stools and dark urine. It felt like I had flu and I was shivering uncontrollably.

      Does it sound like what you're experiencing?

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  • Posted

    Try to just relax I was nervous being put under I had to have two surgery's when mine was removed two weeks ago I was scared but being put under isn't so bad you don't even know you've fallen a sleep you wake up and its over I'm not even sore anymore I feel fine .

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