Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP)
An ERCP is an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram, also known as a biliary endoscopy. This procedure is a test used to examine the tubes (ducts) that drain the pancreas, gallbladder and liver. The test uses a flexible, lighted scope called an endoscope and x-rays in order to examine the bile and pancreatic ducts for any abnormalities. The test is performed by gently inserting the endoscope into the mouth after moderate sedation of the patient. The endoscope is then moved through the throat, esophagus, stomach, and duodenum until it reaches the area where the bile and pancreas drain into the duodenum. A dye is then injected into the ducts in the biliary tree and pancreas so they are visible on x-rays.
Why is this test done?
This test can be used to diagnose a number of different conditions or abnormalities of the pancreas and bile ducts. These conditions include:
- Leaks from trauma or surgery
- Check for diseases of the bile ducts, liver or pancreas
- Open a narrowed bile duct
- Insert a drain
- Obtain a tissue sample to test for abnormalities
Some conditions can be treated during this procedure. If gallstones are discovered, it is sometimes possible to remove the gallstones trapped in the bile ducts using instruments inserted through the endoscope. Narrowed ducts can be widened by inserting a small tube called a stent. The stent is inserted through the endoscope and into the duct.
This procedure is generally an outpatient procedure, normally performed with moderate sedation. GI Associates performs these procedures at one of our affiliated hospitals by one of our highly trained and experienced physicians. Our doctors and nurses will fully explain the procedure and what to expect to you before it’s started so you understand and feel at ease about the procedure. Our physicians have advanced endoscopic training and we are commonly referred patients from other gastroenterology practices for complex procedures of this type.
If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please call us or complete the form to the left. A member of our friendly staff will contact you promptly to answer your questions or schedule an appointment.