Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction Diagnosed and Treated by Mercy’s Top Doctors

Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy - Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Dr. Paul ThuluvathDr. Anurag Maheshwari and Dr. Hwan Yoo at The Center for Liver and Hepatobiliary Diseases at Mercy diagnose and treat sphincter of oddi dysfunction. Patients from the Baltimore Metropolitan region come to our doctors for their expertise and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of liver and hepatobiliary diseases, including sphincter of oddi dysfunction.

About the Condition

The sphincter of oddi, which is located in the upper part of the intestine where the pancreatic and bile ducts enter, is a one-way valve that allows the pancreatic and bile secretions to enter the bowel as well as prevents the bowel contents from backing up into the ducts. When the sphincter of oddi malfunctions, the pancreatic and bile ducts do not drain adequately. The result is pressure in the ducts that could lead to pancreatitis or biliary pain.

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Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Risk factors for developing sphincter of oddi dysfunction include having had the gallbladder removed and being a woman in middle age.

Symptoms of sphincter of oddi dysfunction include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chills

Since most of the symptoms of sphincter of oddi dysfunction are the same as other digestive diseases, tests are conducted to rule out other possible conditions. When sphincter of oddi dysfunction is the suspected cause of the symptoms, a sphincter of oddi manometry is performed to measure how well the sphincter of oddi is functioning. 

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Treatment Options

The first course of treatment for sphincter of oddi dysfunction is medication, which helps to control the sphincter of oddi spasms. When medications fail to improve the sphincter of oddi function and abdominal pain still exists, a sphincterotomy, during which the muscle is cut, may be recommended. Since a sphincterotomy can cause complications, it is used as a last treatment option for sphincter of oddi dysfunction.

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Dr. Hwan Yoo - Mercy Medical Center
Hwan Yoo, M.D.

Dr. Hwan Yoo, Board Certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine, is an experienced liver specialist at The Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy.

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