Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) is a diagnostic procedure to analyze the Duodenum, the papilla of vater, gall bladder, pancreatic ducts (PD) and common bile ducts (CBD). ERCP is an amalgamation of two tests: a GI endoscopy and an X-ray. In ERCP, an Endoscopist can examine the inside of the stomach and duodenum and inject a contrast medium into the ducts to get clear visuals on radiographs.

The ERCP Procedure

Mostly, ERCP is performed on an outpatient basis and it involves following steps:

  • Sedation – IV sedative is given along with General Anaesthetic spray in the throat to avoid discomfort.
  • Endoscopy – Gastroenterologist performs the endoscopy while threading down the endoscope with the camera attached to provide a video feed on the computer.
  • Catheterization & Contrast Dye – The Specialist will inject contrast dye into the papilla (connecting bile ducts and duodenum) to highlight the ducts on X-ray.
  • X-Ray – Abnormalities like narrowed areas, scar tissue or blockages are noted.
  • Fluoroscopy – Many of these abnormalities can be treated during the test. A stent is placed into the duct or gallstones removed or dissolved during the procedure.
  • Recovery –Once the sedative dose is worn off, you can go home and get rest for the day.

  • Indication of ERCP

  • Abnormalities or Blockages in Pancreas, Bile Ducts and Gallbladder
  • Obstructive Jaundice
  • Chronic Pancreatis
  • Pancreatic Tumor in case of bile duct obstructionTechniques