What To Know About ERCP

Unless you work in the medical industry, you probably aren’t familiar with many more acronyms than “LOL” and “OMG.” If we just ordered an ERCP test for you, you may be shaking your head and wondering what on earth that means for you.

Why Get An ERCP?

First things first, we will only order an ERCP if you need it. Typically, we will order one of these exams for patients who are experiencing any of the following:

Loss of appetite
Sudden, unexplained weight loss
Darkened urine
Severe abdominal pains
Light-colored stools
Bleeding
Jaundice

What’s An ERCP?

Here are tons of ducts throughout your body which basically act as a drainage tube. In order for us to take a closer look at these ducts, we use the ERCP which combines both an endoscope and an x-ray. In more specific terms, an ERCP or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, is a diagnostic procedure that we do in order to take a closer look at your bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreatic duct. Additionally, the endoscope allows our physicians to remove bile duct obstructions like tumors, stones, or strictures.

How To Prepare For An ERCP

Before your ERCP, we will provide you with instructions about fasting and take a detailed medical history. Don’t forget to discuss any medications that you take (both over the counter and prescription) with our staff as well as any important medical conditions like diabetes, heart, or lung conditions. Additionally, we should be aware of any allergies you may have, particularly to any contrast medications you may have had in the past. Before the ERCP any necessary diagnostic imaging tests will be complete in order to aid your physician in pinpointing the problem. For more information, see our ERCP preparation instructions.