ERCP is a specialized endoscopy technique used to study
the ducts of the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. An endoscope is passed
through the mouth, esophagus and stomach to the small intestines (duodenum).
A small catheter is then passed through the endoscope into the ducts.
A dye is gently injected into the ducts and x-rays of the liver and
pancreas are then taken. The information provided by the ERCP is much more
detailed than standard x-rays or scans in detecting organ abnormalities and
diseases of the pancrease, bile ducts, liver and gallbladder, and indications for surgery.
||An ERCP is valuable in
diagnosing diseases of the liver and
After a diagnostic ERCP, therapeutic ERCP techniques can open the end of bile
ducts, extract small stone or place stents to improve drainage in obstructed
Patients receive sedation for an ERCP and sometimes a local anesthesia is
applied to the throat. The endoscopic instrument does not interfere with
breathing. Air is introduced through the endoscopy and this may cause temporary
bloating during and after the procedure. The injection of the contrast dye
rarely causes any discomfort.