Reasons, Procedure and Preparation Required For a ERCP Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The ERCP test or ERCP procedure is a simplistic term for the procedure which is known as the endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Such a procedure is one which is typically employed when your doctor wants to look for tumors, stones or any kind of narrowing which may be observed in the bile ducts. The term endoscopic applies since an endoscope is made use of for this particular procedure.


The ERCP procedure is done for the basic three aforementioned reasons. ERCP complications typically involve perforation of one's bowels as well as bleeding. There is the possibility of a serious problem of pancreatitis or long term problems such as abscess. Risks which come as a part of the procedure include reactions such as those to the dye used, to the anesthesia or drug used in the course of the ERCP.


ERCP medical procedure preparations involve fasting and, for the actual procedure, removal of dentures and any kind of jewelry.

Procedure to Conduct

With the help of an IV line, which usually goes straight to your arm, you will be allowed to relax with the help of medication designed to sedate you. Your health care practitioner may even administer a spray to the patient's throat which is designed to numb it. For the protection of the person's teeth, something like a mouth guard may be used. Typically, the procedure would require a dye, which may be administered directly into the bile as well as the pancreatic ducts. This is done with the aid of a video endoscope which is rather flexible. This device goes all the way to the portion of one's small intestine which may be found nearest to one's stomach.

A catheter is then utilized such that it goes to the ducts and the dye may then be injected. This dye allows for comparison as well as diagnosis with the help of x-rays. These x-rays are then used such that the pancreas in addition o the bile ducts may be outlined. It must be stated that different instruments may be used in combination with the flexible endoscope to allow for different procedures. For instance, if stones have been observed, you can either remove these, or try to crush them. Instruments allow for drainage of blocked areas or to get a hold of tissue samples and so on. ERCP with sphincterotomy may be indicated in many cases, such as with recurrent pancreatitis