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Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography (ERCP)

  • What is Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography (ERCP)?

    Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography is a procedure used to visualise the bile duct and pancreas by producing detailed X-Ray images. It uses a very long and flexible tube called an endoscope. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth and carefully pushed down into the stomach and round into the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum). The endoscope is then used to locate the opening of the bile duct that empties into the duodenum. This opening is called a papilla. A small plastic tube is then passed down the endoscope through the papilla in order to reach the bile duct and the pancreatic duct. A small amount of dye is then injected into the ducts to allow X-Ray images to be captured.

  • Your doctor might recommend an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography to assess and treat your symptoms and conditions. Your symptoms might include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) and upper-abdominal pain. Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography is also used if the doctor suspects the presence of bile duct stones, tumours in the bile duct, liver or pancreas, and if the bile duct or the pancreatic duct is blocked. Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography is also used before and after gallbladder surgery in order to improve the surgical procedure.

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