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
Pancreatic Tumor in case of bile duct obstructionTechniques