Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a test used to study the ducts (drainage paths) of the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. An ERCP is helpful in detecting gastrointestinal diseases and performing interventional procedures, including: 

  • Place a stent (tube) to open a blockage 
  • Repair narrowed ducts 
  • Obtain tissue biopsies 
  • Remove stones or sludge in the ducts
  • Decide whether surgery is needed

While you are sedated, your physician will insert an endoscope (thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end) into your mouth and advance it to the beginning of your small intestine. The exam, done in the GI Lab, takes about 1-1⁄2 hours, but your total time in the lab is about 3 to 4 hours.

Conditions this treatment is offered for:

  • Diseases of the pancreas
  • Diseases of the liver
  • Diseases of the gall bladder
  • Bile duct disorders