Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography or ERCP is a test used to study the biliary system, which includes the liver, gallbladder and pancreas.

A Cholangioscopy procedure, when used in conjunction with ERCP, allows a more detailed visual examination by passing a small, optical camera through the endoscope.

Why Is an ERCP Procedure Recommended?

ERCP indications are: To access, inspect, diagnose and treat conditions such as gallstones, strictures or obstructions in the biliary ducts; to break up and remove large stones, and to clear ducts for better drainage.

How Do You Prepare for an ERCP Procedure?

You will not be allowed to eat or drink for several hours before the procedure.

What Can You Expect During an ERCP Procedure?

Your doctor passes an endoscope through your mouth into the duodenum. From there, a catheter is passed through the endoscope into the biliary ducts, where a contrast material is injected so that x-rays may be taken. Cholangioscopy may also be introduced.

What Happens Next?

Upon waking in a recovery bay, you won't have any recollection of the ERCP procedure and might feel a little 'foggy' from the sedative. It's mandatory that a companion be available to drive you home. Your throat may feel a little sore, but you should be able to resume your regular diet approximately two hours after the procedure. Preliminary results may be discussed, and if necessary, a follow-up appointment with any physician on Memorial Hermann's multi-disciplinary team may be scheduled.

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