ERCP

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a type of X-ray procedure used to diagnose and treat bile duct problems, including gallstones, biliary strictures, biliary leaks, and tumors. The procedure is done under light sedation. When conducting ERCP, the doctor inserts an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light at the end) down the patient's throat and through the stomach until it reaches the biliary tree. Then dye is injected into the bile ducts so that they can be seen on X-ray. If a problem is identified, the doctor can then insert surgical instruments into the endoscope to correct it. Biopsies can also be performed this way.

Patient Benefits

  • Procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis
  • Procedure is minimally invasive, meaning less pain and a shorter recovery time

Patient Risks

  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Perforation of the duodenum