What is Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)?
An Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), is a test allowing your doctor to observe the bile ducts, gallbladder and pancreatic duct. Simply put, a duct is a drainage tube. In the human body there are ducts that drain the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. They are slender and flexible and difficult to study without a specialized procedure.
How is an ERCP performed?
During an ERCP, your doctor will use an endoscope to access the upper part of your small intestine. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube that allows your doctor to view the area and to also pass a small catheter into the duct, inject a dye, and see the contrast on X-rays taken during the procedure. You will be lightly sedated during the procedure and may have some numbing medicine in your throat to make the procedure comfortable.
An ERCP is a safe procedure, but is best handled by an experienced gastroenterologist. The delicate nature of the bile ducts requires an expert hand and you can trust the physicians at Concorde Gastroenterology. Our physicians are specially train, highly qualified specialists and have the experience you can trust.
Prior to the ERCP your doctor will give you instructions about fasting and will take a detailed medical history. Discuss all medications you take, both prescription and over the counter, with your Concorde Gastro physician – especially any blood thinners, herbal supplements and aspirin. Make sure you disclose any other important medical conditions such as diabetes, heart, or lung conditions. Your doctor should also be aware of any allergies you may have, particularly to any contrast medications you may have had in the past.
Complications are rare, but can occur. Your doctor will discuss your particular risk with you prior to the procedure. The most common complaint is slight bloating or gas pains from air being introduced into your system during the procedure. These resolve themselves over time. You will be kept in recovery, being monitored for complications, while you awake from your anesthesia Your doctor will give you instructions on resuming your normal activities, including eating, after your ERCP is complete.
Be sure to have a companion/driver to accompany you to Concorde Gastro who is willing to attend to you at home as well. The anesthesia can have an affect on you for the rest of day and for your safety we ask that you not be alone.
It is in our very character to put you, the patient, first. If you live in the New York City metropolitan area and require a gastroenterologist you should visit Concorde Gastro. We offer four convenient locations from which to choose. Our doctors are among the best in their field and you can be confident in the care you receive.