ERCP Specialist

Dr. Robert Webman, MD, is a primary care physician, internist, and gastroenterologist with practices around southern California in Torrance, San Pedro, and Inglewood. He went to medical school at the University of Massachusetts, and completed an internship in internal medicine and a fellowship in gastroenterology at Tulane University. He speaks English and Spanish.

ERCP Q & A

by Robert M. Webman, MD

What Is Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)?

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.

  • Cancer
  • Gallstones
  • Inflammatory scars, or strictures, that can obstruct or block the bile ducts
  • Leaks due to previous surgery or an injury

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.

What Should I Expect for My ERCP Procedure?

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.

How Do I Prepare for an ERCP?

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.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

We accept most PPO insurance plans.  Below is a short list of the plans we accept.  Please call our office with any questions.

Aetna
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Assurant Health
Beech Street
Guardian
Health Net
Humana
Medicaid
Medicare
Testimonials

Words from our patients

  • Vitals

    "I've been dealing with Dr. Webman during my mom's current hospitalization. He listens, answers questions and has kept me in the loop through the whole process."

    Verified Patient
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