Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopacreatography

What is Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography?

ENDOSCOPIC RETROGRADE CHOLANGIOPANCREATOGRAPHY (ERCP) – this procedure is used for the diagnosis of many diseases of the pancreas, bile ducts, liver and gallbladder. Stones, tumors, or narrowing in the bile ducts can be identified during the procedure.

What to Expect

Prior to the test you will not be allowed to have anything to eat or drink after midnight. You will have sedation for the procedure so you will need someone to drive you home. When you arrive in Special Procedures you will have a health history done, an IV started and be connected to an EKG monitor. You will have lab work done to check your bleeding time and an IV antibiotic will be given to you. When it is time for the procedure you will be transported to the x-ray department so fluoroscopy can be used to visualize the bile ducts, pancreas, gallbladder and liver. The procedure is done through a side viewing endoscope. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth, and passed through the esophagus and stomach until it reaches the duodenum. A special catheter is passed and inserted into the ampulla that leads to the pancreas, gallbladder and liver. A special dye is injected into these ducts and x-rays are taken. We have special instruments that can be used at this time to remove gallstones or take tissue samples for diagnosis purposes.

What Happens After

After the procedure you will be taken to the recovery area where you will be monitored for 1-2 hours. Once you are awake, stable and drinking fluids you will be allowed to go home. Post procedure you will be drowsy, may have a sore throat, be bloated and pass moderate amounts of gas. When you go home you will need to rest for the rest of the day and resume a normal diet as tolerated. All normal activities will resume the following day.