Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography

An ERCP is an examination for the diagnosis of many diseases of the pancreas, bile ducts, liver and gallbladder. ERCP’s also allow the physician to perform necessary treatments such as enlarging a bile duct opening, removing gallstones lodged in the bile duct, inserting a stent for drainage or taking a biopsy specimen. No discomfort is felt if biopsies are taken.

A flexible fiberoptic tube (duodenoscope) is passed through the mouth, esophagus and stomach into the duodenum (first part of the small intestines). The opening where bile and pancreatic ducts empty into the duodenum (ampulla) is located, and a small plastic tube is passed through the duodenoscope into the ampulla. X-rays are taken to study the ducts. Any necessary treatments can be performed at that time.

Many people do not recall any of the procedure because of the effects of sedation during the procedure.

Please inform the doctor and nurse if there is any chance of pregnancy.