Diagnosis and Treatment of the Pancreas and Related Organs

The Augusta University Digestive Health Center has the region’s only comprehensive care center for disorders of the pancreas and related organs. Our multidisciplinary team collaborates to correctly diagnose and determine the best treatment plan for you.

Step One: Diagnosis

If we suspect you have pancreas disease, we test for abnormal levels of CA 19-9, blood amylase, blood lipase, blood trypsin, fecal elastase, and fecal fat.

If we suspect bile duct disease, we test for abnormal levels of CEA, p-ANCA, blood alkaline phosphatase, blood transaminases (AST/ALT), and blood bilirubin.

Imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP), as well as endoscopy and other scans, may also be used to look for abnormalities in the bile ducts such as dilated bile duct or bile duct strictures, gallbladder, ampulla, or pancreas, such as cyst, tumor, dilated pancreatic duct, or pancreatic duct stricture.

Step Two: Treatment

Because pancreas and bile duct disorders can be quite complex, you can rest assured knowing that at Augusta University Digestive Health Center, you have an entire multidisciplinary team taking care of every detail of your treatment.

Our gastrointestinal specialists collaborate with endocrinologists, interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists and oncologists, minimally invasive surgeons, cystic fibrosis specialists (since chronic pancreatitis is a risk for CF patients), and psychiatrists to oversee every aspect of your care.

Specific treatments may include:    

  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC), which uses a contrast material to get a detailed image of the bile ducts. During this procedure, interventional radiologists may also perform other procedures such as draining excess bile, removing gallstones, or placing stents
  • Percutaneous biliary drainage (PBD) and management, which places a new drain into the bile duct to reestablish proper bile drainage into the digestive tract
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a diagnostic test that combines endoscopy and X-ray to examine the bile duct, pancreas, and gallbladder. During this procedure, gastroenterologists may also place stents, dilate strictures (narrowed areas), fracture and remove gallstones (lithotripsy), and obtain samples of tumors and manage tumors
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) for cyst evaluation and drainage, cancer staging and management, and evaluation and fine needle aspiration of masses and/or lymph nodes

Step Three: Supportive Care

The Augusta University Digestive Health Center offers many other supportive resources to help improve patients’ quality of life.

Patients benefit from patient education by our nurse practitioner and physicians, genetic counseling for hereditary conditions that could cause pancreas or bile duct disorders, nutritional resources specifically designed for biliary and pancreatic patients, and pain management. Plus, as part of an academic medical center, you always have access to 24/7 emergency care. 

Meet Our Pancreatic Team

Dr. John Affronti, advanced endoscopy, biliary/pancreas, director, AEGIS

Dr. Sumanth Daram, advanced endoscopy, biliary/pancreas

Dr. Subbaramiah Sridhar, advanced endoscopy, biliary/pancreas

Amanda Lee, advanced registered nurse practitioner

Schedule Your Appointment Now

Schedule an online appointment or call 706-721-2282 to speak to our nurse practitioner.

For referring physicians, we also offer Skype and video conferencing capabilities. Please contact our nurse practitioner to find out more.