ERCP

ERCP may be useful in diagnosing and treating problems causing jaundice (a yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin) or pain in the abdomen. Also, there may be changes in blood tests that show abnormalities of the liver or pancreas. ERCP is an effective and useful procedure for evaluation or treating a number of different problems of the GI tract.
ERCP is short for “Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography”.

ENDOSCOPIC
RETROCRADE
CHOLANGIO

ERCP may be useful in diagnosing and treating problems causing jaundice (a yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin) or pain in the abdomen. Also, there may be changes in blood tests that show abnormalities of the liver or pancreas.
To understand how ERCP can help, it’s important to know more about the pancreas and the bile duct system.

Bile is a substance made by the liver that is important in the digestion and absorption of fats. Bile is carried from the liver by a system of tubes known as bile ducts. One of these, the cystic duct, connects the gallbladder to the main bile duct. The gallbladder stores the bile between meals and empties back into the bile duct when food is consumed. The common bile duct then empties into a part of the small intestine called the duodenum. The common bile duct enters the duodenum through a nipple-like structure called the papilla. Joining the common bile duct to pass through the papilla is the main duct from the pancreas. This pathway allows digestive juices from the pancreas to mix with food in the intestine. Problems that affect the pancreas and bile duct system can, in many cases, be diagnosed and corrected with ERCP.

For example, ERCP can be helpful when there is a blockage of the bile ducts by gallstones, tumors, scarring or other conditions that cause obstruction or narrowing (stricture) of the ducts. Similarly, blockage of the pancreatic ducts from stones, tumors or stricture can also be evaluated or treated by ERCP, which is useful in assessing causes of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).

Other special exams that take pictures using X-rays or sound waves provide important information for use along with that obtained from ERCP.

Preparation
Arriving at the Hospital
Possible complications
What can you expect after your ERCP