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ERCP

ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram) is a specialized technique used to study the bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gallbladder. Ducts are drainage routes; the drainage channels from the liver are called bile or biliary ducts. The pancreatic duct is the drainage channel from the pancreas. You will be sedated to make you comfortable. During ERCP, your Gastroenterologist will pass an endoscope through your mouth, esophagus and stomach into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine). An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube that lets your doctor see inside your bowels. After your GI doctor sees the common opening to the ducts from the liver and pancreas, called the major duodenal papilla, your doctor will pass a narrow plastic tube called a catheter through the endoscope and into the ducts. Your doctor will inject a contrast material (dye) into the pancreatic or biliary ducts and will take X-rays or lab results. ERCP is used if you have jaundice, nausea with severe upper abdominal pain or an abnormal x-ray. Removal of stones in the bile duct, stretching of bile duct structures or obtaining samples for biopsy can be accomplished. This procedure takes 30-40 minutes with 30-60 additional minutes additional recovery time. You will need a driver because of the sedation. You may require overnight hospital observation depending of the complexity of what needs to be done. You may be admitted to the hospital overnight for observation.