Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography ERCP

Definition and indications:

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure used to diagnose and treat problems in the bile ducts and pancreas. It involves the use of an endoscope and X-ray imaging to visualize the ducts and perform interventions such as removing stones, dilating strictures, or placing stents.

Procedure details:

The patient is sedated and an endoscope is passed through the mouth and into the duodenum. The endoscope is then used to inject a contrast agent into the bile ducts and pancreas to allow for X-ray imaging. After the diagnosis is made, the endoscope can be used to perform therapeutic interventions.

Preparation and dietary restrictions:

The patient should not eat or drink anything for several hours before the procedure. In some cases, a laxative may be given to empty the bowels. The patient should inform their doctor of any medications they are taking, as some may need to be stopped before the procedure.

Risks and complications:

ERCP is generally a safe procedure, but complications can occur. These may include bleeding, infection, perforation of the bowel, or pancreatitis. The risk of complications is higher in patients with certain medical conditions, such as cirrhosis or pancreatitis.

Recovery and follow-up:

After the procedure, the patient will need to rest for several hours to allow the sedative to wear off. They may experience some mild discomfort or bloating. The doctor will provide instructions on diet and activity restrictions, and follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor the patient’s progress