Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a specialized procedure that diagnoses and treats problems involving the bile and pancreatic ducts. Only physicians with advanced training can perform ERCP. At Gastrointestinal Consultants Tavares, Orlando, and The Villages, Florida, Lalbahadur Nagabhairu, MD, Shams Tabrez, MD, and the team have the training and experience to administer ERCP. To find out more about the procedure, call the office or schedule a consultation online today.
An ERCP is a procedure that combines endoscopic tools and techniques with X-ray imaging to treat conditions that affect the bile and pancreatic ducts.
Bile ducts are tubes that move bile, a substance that helps you digest fat, from your liver to your gallbladder and your small intestine.
Pancreatic ducts are tubes that transport pancreatic juices, the enzymes that help you break down food, from your pancreas to your small intestine.
You may benefit from an ERCP if your gastroenterologist at Gastrointestinal Consultants needs to diagnose or treat a condition that affects your bile or pancreatic ducts.
Some of the conditions that affect these ducts include:
The team at Gastrointestinal Consultants reviews the details of why you might benefit from an ERCP. Because it’s a more invasive procedure, the team may only perform an ERCP if they plan on treating the problem they suspect you have with your ducts.
The Gastrointestinal Consultants team provides you with specific instructions on how to prepare for your ERCP. They request that you stop eating about eight hours before your test so your upper gastrointestinal tract is completely empty.
It’s important to tell your provider at Gastrointestinal Consultants about all of the medications you take. The team may recommend modifying your usual medication schedule to reduce risk of bleeding.
Your gastroenterologist sprays your throat with a local anesthetic to numb the area and then inserts an intravenous (IV) line into your arm for sedation.
They insert an endoscope — a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera — into your throat, slowly advancing it through your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine until it reaches the opening for the ducts.
Your gastroenterologist guides a catheter through the endoscope and injects a dye into the ducts, which improves X-ray imaging. They perform any necessary procedures — such as widening the ducts, removing stones, or inserting stents — and then withdraw the endoscope.
The team sends you to the recovery area and discharges you home once the sedation wears off. You must arrange to have someone drive you home after your ERCP, and you need to take the rest of the day off.
Most patients return to their usual activities the next day.
To find out more about ERCP, call Gastrointestinal Consultants or schedule an appointment online today.