Gastroenterology:   Photographs

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Ampulla of Vater

How Bile Enters the Duodenum

Duodenal Ampulla

Here is a photo taken in the first portion of the small intestine - called the duodenum. The small mound of tissue is called the Ampulla of Vater. It is a small "nipple" that is at the end of the common bile duct. Bile is a combination of chemicals made in the liver which are stored and concentrated in the gallbladder between meals. When you eat a meal, the gallbladder is stimulated and squeezes bile into the intestine through the Ampulla. This helps digest your food.

When you doctor must see the bile duct, a test called ERCP is performed. During an ERCP, a small catheter is placed through the Ampulla which allows x-ray dye to be injected into the bile ducts and pancreas so that these organs can be visualized and evaluated on x-rays.

Text & Images Courtesy of Three Rivers Endoscopy Center
© Dr. Robert Fusco, Three Rivers Endoscopy Center, All Rights Reserved

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