Pancreatic and Biliary Disease

Most comprehensive array of gastrointestinal services available in Northeast Wisconsin

Aurora BayCare gastroenterologists provide expert treatment for pancreatic and biliary diseases including pancreatitis, pancreatic cysts, and biliary cirrhosis.

Your digestive system’s job is to transport and process the food you eat so that it can be used by your body to nourish cells and provide you with energy. The organs connected to your digestive system include the biliary tract, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.  As supporting actors in the digestive system, their role is to produce and store materials to aid the digestion process.

Aurora BayCare gastroenterology specialists use state-of-the-art technology and the most advanced therapeutic techniques to diagnose and treat pancreatic and biliary diseases.  We treat everything from the common to the complex utilizing, in many cases, minimally invasive diagnostic tests and treatment therapies.


Located behind your stomach, your pancreas is part of both your endocrine system and your digestive system.  Your pancreas manufactures digestive enzymes and hormones, including insulin.  Insulin controls the movement of glucose from the bloodstream into cells to supply your body with energy for metabolism and muscle contraction. Insulin’s job is to ensure that glucose actually moves into your cells. When insulin cannot perform this function, glucose builds up in your bloodstream.

Gallbladder and Biliary Tract

Your gallbladder is located near your liver and stomach. Your biliary tract is a tube that carries bile from the gallbladder to your small intestine.  Bile is a liquid that carries waste products away from the liver. It also helps break down fats in the small intestine.

Common Disorders

Some common disorders associated with the pancreas, gallbladder, and biliary tract include:

  • Biliary cancer
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic cysts
  • Pancreatitis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis

Why Choose Aurora BayCare

Aurora BayCare offers the most comprehensive array of gastrointestinal services available in Northeast Wisconsin.  Our board-certified gastroenterologists work closely with surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, pathologists and primary care for a coordinated, team approach to digestive healthcare

Aurora BayCare GI physicians employ the latest technologies, including:

  • Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS). Endoscopic ultrasound utilizes a gastrointestinal endoscope with an ultrasound probe.  The probe uses high-energy sound waves to create detailed, high-resolution pictures.  If a concern is located, the doctor may insert a needle to obtain a tissue sample, using EUS images as a guide.  Tumors, cysts, stones, and other conditions are commonly identified by EUS.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is an endoscopic procedure used to diagnose and treat pancreas, bile duct, gallbladder, and liver disorders.  After anesthesia, a flexible camera is inserted through the mouth, into the first part of the small intestine.  Then, a small tube is passed through the scope and into the bile and pancreas ducts to obtain x-ray pictures.  ERCP is used to remove gallstones, identify biliary and pancreatic tumors and relieve blockages.
  • Laser lithotripsy is used during ERCP to break gallstones and pancreatic stones into tiny pieces that can be cleared from the ducts.  Laser lithotripsy often helps patients with significant stone disease avoid surgery.
  • Manometry. Pancreatic and biliary manometry during ERCP measures sphincter muscle pressure in the pancreas and bile ducts. This technique is often helpful in cases of recurring pancreatitis.
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