ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography)
Location of the pancreas and gallbladder
Image from the National Institutes of Health
An ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography) test is an examination of the bile and pancreatic ducts coming from your gallblader and pancreas.
The ERCP is done with an instrument called an endoscope. This is anarrow, flexible tube that goes through the mouth into the upper digestive tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum). It lets the doctor look into your esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Dye is then put into your common bile duct and pancreatic duct and x-rays are taken. This test helps your doctor diagnose your illness and plan specific treatment.
During the test, an intravenous line (IV) will be inserted. You will be given medicine through the IV to help you relax. A novocaine-like spray will be given to numb your throat.
You will begin the test by resting on your left side. The doctor will pass the endoscope, which is thinner than most of the food you swallow, through your mouth into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. This tube will not interfere with your breathing.
When the endoscope is in the proper place, you will be asked to turn onto your stomach. Your doctor completes the examination by injecting dye into the bile duct and pancreatic duct and viewing the x-rays.
This test lasts about 30 minutes and is well tolerated.
After the exam, you may feel drowsy and sleep for a short time after the test. Nurses will check on you to see how you're feeling.
After the test, you will need someone to drive you home. Do not eat or drink for 2 hours. Also, you may be asked to eat only a clear liquid diet the day and evening following the exam.
See also: ERCP Prep Instructions
Your procedure will be performed at one of these two facilities:
Athens Regional Medical Center: Report directly to the Endoscopy Department in the Talmadge Tower II, second floor. Park in the Parking Garage across from the Talmadge Tower II. You will register in the Endoscopy Department. The main number for Athens Regional is (706) 475-7000.
St. Mary's Hospital: Park in the Parking Deck off of Baxter Street. Report directly to Outpatient Registration near the Emergency Room. You will register there, and will be escorted to the Endoscopy Department. The main number for St. Mary's is (706) 354-3000.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office at (706) 548-0058. If you have specific questions about the hospital where the procedure is to be performed, please call the hospital directly.
This information from the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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