Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

ERCP is a test to examine your liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas. It is used mainly to diagnose and treat problems in the bile duct. Your common bile duct connects your liver, gallbladder and pancreas to your small intestine. Your pancreatic duct connects your pancreas to your common bile duct. The sphincter of Oddi is a circular muscle around the opening where your common bile duct enters your small intestine. It opens and closes to allow fluid to pass into your small intestine to help with digestion.

Your health care provider may suggest this procedure if:

• You have particular forms of jaundice
• They suspect you have a stone lodged in the common bile duct
• You have a blockage in the pancreatic duct
• You have a sphincter of Oddi that is too tight
• You have a growth of tissue in the bile duct or pancreatic duct

Your stomach and duodenum must be empty for the procedure to be accurate and safe. You will not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the test.

You will need to plan on being at the hospital about two to three hours for check-in, the exam and recovery. You should arrange for someone to accompany you to your appointment and drive you home after the exam.

Please follow your health care provider’s instructions completely before and after the procedure and call our office if you have any questions.

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