Tidelands Health is adding to its array of digestive health services.
The health system is now offering a specialized procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, which is used to help patients with a variety of digestive conditions, including gallstones, pancreatitis, jaundice and abdominal pain.
During the procedure, a physician uses a flexible, lighted endoscope and X-rays to examine the bile duct and the pancreatic duct, which drain the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. The endoscope is guided to the ducts, dye is introduced and X-ray images are taken.
While performing the procedure, the physician may take tissue samples from these areas and may be able to provide treatment that relieves a patient’s symptoms. For example, the physician may be able to remove gallstones or open blockages in the ducts by placing a stent.
“In some cases, ERCP can immediately improve a patient’s quality of life by eliminating pain and discomfort,” said Dr. Wesley Benson, who is performing the procedure for Tidelands Health. “The procedure can also help diagnose conditions that may not be apparent using other techniques.”
Dr. Benson, who practices at Tidelands Waccamaw Gastroenterology, has specialized training in endoscopic procedures through an advanced endoscopy fellowship he completed at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
He is part of a team of digestive health clinicians offering care through Tidelands Health. Conditions treated include acid reflux, appendicitis, celiac disease, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, fecal incontinence, inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome and more.