ERCP is a diagnostic procedure that a doctor uses to check for problems related to the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and bile ducts. It includes a combination of x-rays and endoscopy, or the use of a flexible tube with a light that is used to help visualize your gastrointestinal tract. The tube also lets the doctor inject dyes into your bile ducts and pancreas so the doctor can see them using x-rays.
The doctor can also take biopsies for later analysis and try to remove an obstruction or gallstone if one is found during the ERCP. Some of the problems that can be detected using an ERCP are the following.
Many patients have a small lump or sensitivity at the site where the sedative was injected, but this gets better within days. Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, is a common risk of ERCP. Less common risks include infection, bleeding, and perforation of the upper portion of the small intestine, or duodenum.
The procedure takes place under sedation and while you are lying face down, on your stomach, in a room with an x-ray machine. The doctor places the endoscope through your esophagus, or throat, stomach, and duodenum, and takes pictures of the pancreas and biliary tree after shooting dye into them. The procedure takes 30 minutes to 2 hours. You can go home 1 to 2 hours after the surgery once the sedative wears off, unless the doctor removed a gallstone or did other procedures during the ERCP. In that case, the doctor may keep you overnight in the hospital.
The night before the procedure, you will need to stop eating by midnight so that you can fast for at least 6 to 8 hours before your ERCP. It is important to let the doctor know of any allergies you have, especially to iodine, which is in the dye used during an ERCP. Also, be sure you have a ride home, since you will not be able to drive after being sedated.
We accept most PPO insurance plans. Below is a short list of the plans we accept. Please call our office with any questions.
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