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Gastroenterology - UVMMC Main Campus

 (802) 847-3479

111 Colchester Avenue
Main Campus, Main Pavilion, Level 5
Burlington, VT 05401-1473

Monday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (SOD) is a condition where a round muscle that controls the flow of two digestive juices, bile and pancreatic juice, does not open properly. The backup of digestive juices can result in severe abdominal pain. Our team of specialists uses the latest technology to diagnose and treat sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, including endoscopic ultrasound and ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography).

Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction Care at UVM Medical Center

At the UVM Medical Center, a group of specialists including gastroenterologists, surgeons and nurses, work together to provide the best care of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (SOD):

  • Our team offers specialized services to diagnose and treat sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, including endoscopic ultrasound and ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography).
  • We are the largest and most comprehensive digestive disease specialty group in Vermont and northeastern New York.
  • We are the leading experts in the field; there are two subspecialists board certified in endoscopic ultrasound at the UVM Medical Center.

Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction Diagnosis

SOD (sphincter of Oddi dysfunction) is commonly diagnosed following cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal surgery). Your doctor will perform a thorough evaluation using the latest technology, which could include:

  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) uses a dye to highlight the tubes (ducts) that fill and drain the bile from the gallbladder. During ERCP, a flexible, lighted scope (endoscope) is inserted through the mouth and gently moved down the throat, through your stomach, and into the intestine. A dye is then injected into the bile ducts through a small hollow tube so the doctor can then take X-rays. Sometimes doctors will use ERCP to take a tissue or cell sample.
  • An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) can be used to look for inflammation and blockages in the liver, pancreas or bile duct. A doctor gently moves a thin, flexible, lighted viewing instrument (endoscope) with an ultrasound probe down the throat and through your stomach to examine the liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts.
  • Sphincter of Oddi manometry is a procedure that examines your sphincter of Oddi to see whether it is functioning normally. After being sedated, your doctor will insert a small plastic tube into your pancreas duct or bile duct near the sphincter of Oddi to see how well it opens and closes.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examines your liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and ducts for abnormalities.
  • A Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) scan measures pancreatic inflammation and looks for gallstones.
  • Blood tests look for increased or high levels of enzymes produced by the liver or pancreas.

Treatments Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction

Common Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction treatment options at The University of Vermont Medical Center include:

  • Medications are typically the first course of treatment for SOD. Common medications include:
    • Pain Relievers. The main symptom of SOD is abdominal pain. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help you feel better.
    • Muscle Relaxants. These medications prevent the sphincter of Oddi from going into spasms.
    • Antidepressants. Occasionally antidepressants are used in SOD treatment to relieve abdominal pain, but at much lower doses than those usually used to treat depression.
  • ERCP - Sphincterotomy is a surgical procedure where your surgeon will find the sphincter of Oddi on the small intestine and cut the muscle to prevent future spasms. Typically, a stent is placed for up to two weeks to keep the sphincter open, and then it is removed.

Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction at UVM Medical Center: How We Compare

At The UVM Medical Center, there two subspecialists board certified in endoscopic ultrasound.

Related Conditions

Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction can be related to:

  • Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal surgery)
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
Michael A. D'Amico, MD
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