Find Out if ERCP is Right for You
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a technique that helps your gastroenterologist treat problems of the bile and pancreatic ducts. ERCP can detect and remove gallstones, find diseases, open a narrowed tube or obtain a tissue sample for testing.
Why an ERCP Procedure Is Performed
The procedure might have been recommended by your doctor in order to evaluate symptoms you are having, such as abdominal pain or jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).
Doctors may also use ERCP if your bile or pancreatic ducts have been blocked or narrowed by:
- Acute pancreatitis
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Trauma or surgical complications
- Tumors or cancer
- Pancreatic pseudocysts
How the Procedure Works
You will be given pain medication and a sedative through an IV. Once you are relaxed, you will lie on your back. The doctor will insert a thin fiber-optic endoscope orally and gently pass it through your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum until it reaches the gallbladder and pancreas drains. Once the endoscope reaches your gallbladder and pancreas ducts, a thin tube will be inserted through the endoscope to help with X-ray imaging. Other instruments may also be passed through the endoscope to collect samples or remove gallstones.
What to Expect After the Procedure
The outpatient procedure takes between 30 and 60 minutes, with one to two hours of observation in a recovery room. You cannot operate heavy machinery or return to work for up to 24 hours so ensure someone can drive you home. Patients who have had their throat numbed cannot eat until the sensation returns or until they can swallow without choking. If your doctor removes gallstones or places a stent during the procedure, you might be required to stay overnight.
The physicians at UPMC Susquehanna are interested in helping you achieve optimal health. Find a Provider today to learn more about how an ERCP in Williamsport can help you lead a pain-free life.
At UPMC Susquehanna, we perform ERCP procedures for individuals with digestive diseases in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.