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Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

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Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a screening test that uses an endoscope and x-ray images to display information about the tubes that drain the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. An endoscope is a long, flexible tube that contains a lighted scope. Your physician inserts the endoscope through the mouth and carefully moves it down the throat into various areas of the upper GI tract. These areas include the esophagus, stomach and upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) can be used to treat a variety of abnormalities found in the upper GI.

To learn more about Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), please contact Central Florida Hepatology & Gastroenterology at 407.303.1812 or request an appointment on our website.

The physician uses the Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography screening test to diagnose abnormalities. Not only is the physician able to see the abnormalities through the imaging produces by the endoscope, but also is able to insert instruments through the endoscopy to obtain samples of tissue. These biopsies can be extremely beneficial in rendering further treatment plans.

When a gallstone is present in the bile duct, your physician may be able to remove the stone with the instruments inserted through the endoscope. Your physician may also be able to open up a narrow bile duct by inserting a stent through the tube of the endoscope and into the duct. The procedure is helpful in diagnosing and treating a variety of abnormalities.

There are a number of reasons for performing an ERCP, some of which include:

  • Assessment of persistent abdominal pain
  • To located gallstones and other diseases of the liver and bile ducts
  • To remove gallstones from affected areas that causes obstruction and inflammation
  • To open a narrowed bile duct and insert a drain
  • To obtain tissue samplings for further examination (biopsies)
  • To measure the pressure inside the bile ducts

Your physician will provide detailed instructions on how to prepare for your ERCP screening test. Some of the instructions include when to stop eating and drinking before the test. If you do not follow the instruction, your screening may be canceled. It is important to follow the directions explicitly to avoid cancellation. Your physician may also ask that you take particular medications on the day of your screening procedure. In some cases antibiotics may be prescribed before the test.

To learn more about Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), please contact Central Florida Hepatology & Gastroenterology at 407.303.1812 or request an appointment on our website.