ERCP stands for endoscopic retrograde cholangiapancratography. It is a diagnostic technique that uses a combination of luminal endoscopy and fluoroscopic imaging to diagnose and treat the problems associated with biliary or pancreatic duct systems.
ERCP indications include gallstones, inflammatory strictures, leaks (from trauma and surgery), and cancer. Your doctor will prescribe you a full course of antibiotics and you need to stop blood thinning medicines for a while before ERCP test.
Before the ERCP test begins, an intravenous (IV) sedative will be given in your arm line. An endoscope is used to see the inside of the stomach and duodenum during the ERCP procedure. A contrast medium is then injected into the ducts in the biliary tree and pancreas so they can be seen on radiographs. Sometimes, a pancreatic duct stent placement is also done during ERCP to avoid another separate procedure. The opening to the ampulla can be enlarged by an ERCP sphincterotomy, if needed.
After the ERCP test, you will not be allowed to eat or drink until your throat is no longer numb. You can feel pain after ERCP stent placement and you can also feel nauseated or bloated, but if the discomfort is severe, alert your doctor.
Complications after ERCP test are not common, but there are still some chances of severe complications such as ERCP pancreatitis.
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