What is an ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)?
ERCP is a special test used to diagnose diseases that affect the pancreas, bile ducts, liver, and gallbladder. A narrow flexible tube with a light is used for this test. The tube displays an image of the opening that drains the bile ducts and pancreas on the TV screen for the doctor to see. A thin plastic tube is then inserted into this opening, X-ray dye is injected, and then special x-rays are taken.
What preparation is required?
Your stomach must be empty. Before the test, you should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight, except a small amount (6oz) of clear liquids up to 3 hours before the test. Consult with your doctor regarding any changes in your medications on the day of the test.
Please inform your doctor if you have an allergy to fish or x-ray dye.
What should you expect during the test?
Your doctor will give you medication through a vein to make you feel relaxed. It is important that you lay still and not talk during the test. You will lie on your stomach for the test. The tube will be put into your mouth and then the doctor will ask you to swallow.
A nurse will be with you before, during and after the test.
What happens after the ERCP?
After the test is done, you will be moved to the recovery area of the Endoscopy unit. You will rest for one hour or until the effects of the medication have worn off. Your throat may feel sore for a couple of hours. You may feel fullness in your stomach because of the air used during the test. YOU MUST HAVE A RESPONSIBLE ADULT DRIVE YOU HOME BECAUSE OF THE MEDICATION GIVEN. If using the Metrovan, bus or cab, you must still have a responsible adult with you for safety.