ERCP, Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography

BestGIDoctorCT3Is ERCP Right For You?

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure that brings together the applications of endoscopy and fluoroscopy manage problems in the biliary or pancreatic ductal systems. A doctor can use an endoscope to easily see the interior of the stomach and duodenum and to inject a radiographic contrast into the ducts in the biliary tree and pancreas. This is to allow them to be observed on X-rays.

What ERCP is Used For

ERCP can be used mainly to detect and cure disorders of the bile ducts and primary pancreatic duct. These include problems like gallstones, inflammatory strictures, leaks, and many forms of cancer.

ERCP could be done for analysis purposes but the MRCP and endoscopic ultrasound are better for observation needs. The ERCP is seldom executed without therapeutic intent.

How it WorksBestGIDoctorCT2

In this process, the patient is sedated or anaesthetized. A flexible camera is then inserted through the mouth, down the throat and into the stomach along the pylorus into the duodenum.

At this point, the ampulla of Vater (the opening of the common bile duct and pancreatic duct) can be spotted. The sphincter of Oddi is a muscular valve that manages the opening of the ampulla and will have to be contacted. The area could be instantly reviewed with the endoscopic camera.

As the area is monitored, a plastic catheter or cannula will be placed into the ampulla, and a radiocontrast material will be injected into the bile ducts and/or pancreatic duct. Fluoroscopy is used as a tool to search for blockages or stones.

If needed, the opening of the ampulla could be swollen with an intoxicated cable to get into the bile duct. This is help clear out gallstones.

In addition, the bile duct can be reviewed with a carrier or device to take away gallstones while a plastic stent can be added to help discharge bile. Furthermore, the pancreatic duct may be cannulated and stents can be injected so the area can be reviewed and cleared out.

In particular situations, an alternate camera could be inserted in the initial endoscope. This process is referred to as duodenoscope-assisted cholangiopancreatoscopy (DACP) or mother-daughter ERCP. The daughter scope will execute immediate electrohydraulic lithotripsy to split up stones. It can also assist in analysis by instantly imaging the duct (as opposed to obtaining X-ray images).

The gallbladder needs to be operatively eliminated following the effective elimination of gallstones from the bile ducts.


The main risk of an ERCP is the growth and development of pancreatitis. This appears in about 5% of all processes. This can be self restricted and minor and there’s no guarantee that you’d have to stay at a hospital.

Individuals at an excess risk for pancreatitis include younger patients with existing post-ERCP pancreatitis, females and those with sphincter of Oddi malfunctions.

Gut perforation is a must for any specific endoscopic process, which explains a further issue when a sphincterotomy is conducted. As the next section of the duodenum is scientifically in a retroperitoneal area (that is, behind the peritoneal structures of the abdomen), perforations could occur. A hemorrhage could also occur in the worst cases.

Oversedation can lead to seriously low blood pressure levels, breathing depression, nausea, and vomiting. Also, people who are sensitive to iodine could be hurt by the different dye used in the process.

Rare difficulties that occur in less than 1% of all patients include cardiovascular system and lung complications, blood loss and contamination. These may be deadly in some of the rarest cases.

The ERCP process may work for GI problems that you might have.

Contact our GI doctors in Connecticut for more information on what you can utilize.


Norwich GI Associates
79 Wawecus St
Suite 101
Norwich, CT 06360
Phone:(860) 886-2655
Fax:(860) 887-9003

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month