Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (or ERCP) is a specialized procedure that combines upper endoscopy and x-rays to diagnose and treat problems of the bile ducts, pancreatic duct, and gallbladder. The procedure may be recommended if your bile or pancreatic ducts have become narrowed or blocked due to gallstones, infection, acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, trauma or surgical complications, pancreatic pseudocysts, or tumors or cancer of the bile ducts, gallbladder, or pancreas.
During the procedure, you will be sedated. Dr. Sinha will pass an endoscope through your mouth, esophagus, and stomach, into your duodenum (the first part of your small intestine). She will then pass a narrow catheter into the biliary ducts, and inject a special contrast dye into the pancreatic or biliary ducts and take x-rays.
She may pass tools through the endoscope to open blocked or narrowed ducts, to break up or remove stones, to perform biopsies, remove tumors in the ducts, or insert stents.
The procedure is performed at the medical center and takes about 1-2 hours to perform.