What is ERCP?
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatograpgy (ERCP) is a procedure which is done at the hospital under general anesthesia or sedation. ERCP is a combination of endoscopy and X-ray to study the ducts of liver, gallbladder and pancreas for diagnoses and treatment. The liver, gallbladder, and pancreas share common opening or drainage routes into the small intestine.

What preparation is required?
You should not eat or drink anything for six hours prior your procedure. You should inform your physician if you have an allergy to iodine. You should avoid aspirin products, arthritis medications, iron supplements, anti-coagulants and anti-platelets medication 4-5 days prior to your procedure or as instructed.

What to expect during procedure?
After receiving sedation, a flexible, lighted tube is passed through the mouth, esophagus and stomach into the small intestine. After reaching the small intestine, the doctor will find the opening to the ducts and will pass a narrow plastic tube, or catheter, through the endoscope and into the ducts. Contrast material will then be injected into the ducts to obtain images and other maneuvers can then be performed to diagnose or treat your disorder.

What can I expect after ERCP?
Once you recover from the effect of the sedation, you can be released; however a responsible adult must be there to take you home. Some cramping, bloating or abdominal pain can occur during the first few hours after the procedure. Discharge instructions should be carefully read and followed.