ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio pancreatography)

What is ERCP?

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is a process used for the diagnosis of problems related to pancreases, gall bladder bile ducts, and liver. In this procedure combination of x-ray and endoscope is used. Your healthcare specialists will insert an endoscope from your mouth and it will find its way down from throat to esophagus then to the stomach and finally to the small intestine’s first part. The process tells about these organs underlying problems. Next, a tube is passed through the endoscope for injecting a dye. This helps in highlighting the organs in the x-ray.

Why is ERCP done?

ERCP is conducted to find reasons behind abdominal pain or if skin is getting yellow. It is used for collecting more information if a patient is having liver or pancreatic cancer, bile ducts.

EROther reasons to recommend ERCP are:

  • Stones or blockage in the bile ducts
  • Blockage of the pancreatic duct or fluid leakage from it
  • Some kind of infection in the bile ducts

There can be some other reason as well for which your specialist might ask you to go for ERCP.

What happens in the ERCP procedure?

The process of ERCP is:

Once you have swallowed the capsule for the next 8 hours you can do your regular work. 

General guidelines which are to be followed are:

  • Jewelry or any other object likely to interfere in the procedure is asked to be removed.
  • An IV band is provided. During the procedure, you might need oxygen via a tube.
  • On the back of our throat, numbing medicine will be sprayed. When the endoscope passes down from the throat there might be gagging to prevent this it is done.
  • Once the throat is numbed endoscope is made to move down to the esophagus and then to the stomach until it finds its way to the biliary tree duct.
  • Dye is injected by passing small tubes through the endoscope.
  • You will be asked to change your positions while taking multiple x-rays.
  • Once a biliary tree x-ray is done, the small tube for the injection of dye will be positioned towards the pancreatic duct. 
  • If required health care specialist might also collect samples of tissue. While the endoscope is in its place other procedures like removal of blockage can be performed.
  • After all the procedures are done endoscope is taken out.