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ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)

ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)

The Digestive System

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a specialized endoscopy procedure that combines x-ray and endoscopic technology. It enables the physician to diagnose problems in the liver, gallbladder, pancreas and bile ducts. The bile ducts are tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine. ERCP can be used to treat bile duct conditions, such as impacted gallstones, strictures (scars), leaks (from trauma or surgery), and cancer.

How to prepare for your ERCP procedure?

Your stomach and duodenum must be empty for the procedure to be accurate and safe. You will not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure, or for 6 to 8 hours beforehand, depending on the time of your procedure. Also, the physician will need to know whether you have any allergies, especially to iodine, which is in the dye.

Patients should tell their doctor about all health conditions they have—especially heart and lung problems, diabetes, and allergies— and all medications they are taking. Patients may be asked to temporarily stop taking medications that affect blood clotting or interact with sedatives, which are often given during ERCP.

ERCP takes 30 minutes to 2 hours. After the procedure, you will need to stay at the hospital for 1 to 2 hours until the sedative wears off. The physician will make sure you do not have signs of complications before you leave. If any kind of treatment is done during ERCP, such as removing a gallstone, you may need to stay in the hospital overnight.

Possible rare complications from ERCP include, but are not limited to:

  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), causing severe abdominal pain
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Perforation of the intestine
  • Complications from sedation

We have two convenient locations to serve you

West Houston Professional Building: 12121 Richmond Ave #424, Houston, TX 77082

Sugar Land Office: 1400 Creekway Drive, Suite 201B, Sugar Land, TX 77478

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Fax 832-379-1928