Post Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) Pancreatitis, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Post- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) pancreatitis (PEP) is a rare but serious problem that can occur after an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedure.

ERCP is a medical procedure that combines endoscopy and X-ray imaging to diagnose and treat problems in the pancreas, bile ducts, and gallbladder.

Patients who experience symptoms of PEP should seek medical attention immediately. With proper treatment and preventive measures, most patients with PEP can recover fully.

During an ERCP, a flexible tube with a camera is passed down the throat and into the small intestine to examine the pancreas, bile ducts, and gallbladder. Sometimes, after the procedure, the pancreas can become inflamed and swollen, leading to Post ERCP pancreatitis.

Your doctor may advise you on how to lower your risk by avoiding certain foods or medications before the procedure, and they will closely monitor you afterward to ensure any symptoms are managed quickly.

Post Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) Pancreatitis, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Symptoms of Post-ERCP Pancreatitis

The symptoms of PEP can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Rapid heartbeat.

In severe cases, PEP can lead to organ failure, sepsis, and even death.

Causes of Post-ERCP Pancreatitis

However, it is believed to be caused by the activation of digestive enzymes in the pancreas before they are released into the small intestine. This can cause inflammation and damage to the pancreas, leading to PEP. It also depends on factors such as age, previous history of pancreatitis, and the complexity of the procedure.

Treatment for Post-ERCP Pancreatitis

The treatment for PEP depends on the severity of the condition.

  • In mild cases, patients may need to rest, take pain medication, and avoid eating or drinking for a few days.
  •  In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary, and patients may need to receive fluids, antibiotics, and other supportive care.
  • If the patient’s condition does not improve with these measures or if complications arise, additional procedures may be necessary to relieve any blockages or remove damaged tissue.
  • Overall, the goal of treatment for Post ERCP pancreatitis is to manage symptoms and promote healing while preventing further complications. It is important for patients to closely follow their doctor’s instructions.

Dr. Amit Agarwal
Director & Gastroenterologist Consultant
Agarwal Gastrocare Center Indore

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