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Connie's Story

Connie Montegrano had never experienced such agonizing pain. It turned out to be pancreatitis, which means that her pancreas was inflamed.

Over the next six years, her abdominal pain got worse and became more frequent. She knew she had to do something.

Her doctor referred her to a specialist: Dr. Willis Parsons, a renowned gastroenterologist at NCH's Gastroenterology Center. Dr. Parsons used an endoscope—a long, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end—to examine Connie's gastrointestinal (GI) system. He discovered that her pancreas had basically broken into two parts. He quickly reconnected it and then inserted a pancreatic stent to keep her pancreas working properly.

These days, Connie lives without pain and is free from pancreatitis. "Dr. Parsons has given me my life back," she says.

Going the Distance

Connie travels from Burbank, about an hour away, to have her stent replaced once a year. Like many other patients who travel to NCH from as far as neighboring states, she doesn't mind at all.

"I'd travel to the ends of the earth to be treated by Dr. Parsons," says Connie.

NCH has an experienced team of gastrointestinal physicians who offer a full range of advanced treatments, therapies and procedures usually found only at university medical centers.

For a GI referral, please call NCH HealthConnection at 847.618.4YOU (4968) today.

To read other patient success stories, click here.

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Connie's Doctor

Dr. Willis Parsons is a board-certified gastroenterologist on staff at NCH who performs this type of procedure. For a list of gastroenterologists on staff at NCH, click here, or call HealthConnection at 847.618.4YOU (4968).

Connie's Treatment

Dr. Parsons performed an advanced endoscopic technique called ERCP to diagnose and repair the problem with Connie's pancreas. He then inserted a pancreatic stent, which allows the organ's ducts to drain properly.

ERCP involves passing an endoscope through a patient's mouth and into the digestive tract. When the scope reaches the beginning of the small intestine, a special dye is injected into the ducts that lead to the pancreas and gallbladder. X-rays are then taken. If there's a problem, special tiny instruments can be placed through the endoscope to treat any abnormality.

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Last Updated 03/13/2010