ERCP - Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography
What is ERCP?
ERCP is a specialized procedure of accessing the bile and pancreatic ducts through the endoscope. A specialized scope is needed and the procedure is usually done in the hospital.
How is ERCP done?
After sedating the patient, a scope is passed into the duodenum and the opening of the bile and pancreatic duct visualized. A catheter is passed through the endoscope into the desired duct and contrast (iodine) injected and X-Rays taken. This X-Ray Image will show any stones, tumor, stricture (narrowing) etc. Many stones in the Bile Duct can be removed through the endoscope. A plastic tube (stent) can be placed across strictures to facilitate drainage.
What are the risks of ERCP?
Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) often requiring hospitalization for few days, remains the most common complication of ERCP. Perforation, Bleeding and infection are less likely risks.
What happens after ERCP?
Patient who have ERCP as an outpatient can go home after an hour of observation in the OP department. Some may need to be admitted if they have a complex stone/tumor etc.