Endoscopic retrogade cholongiopancreatography (commonly known as ERCP) is a form of investigation, which is used to examine the bile ducts that connect the liver and the small intestine and the pancreas. The ERCP may be recommended if you have experienced abdominal pain, you are jaundice or your doctor suspects that the bile ducts may be blocked due to an obstruction such as gallstones.
The examination is usually carried out on an outpatient basis. During the procedure a thin flexible tube, known as endoscope, is passed through the mouth and down into the stomach and then a colored dye is passed through the tube to make X-Ray images of the bile ducts clearer.
X-ray images are then taken of the bile ducts and the pancreas. If the images show that the bile ducts are blocked by gallstones, these may be collected using a small wire basket and if the ducts are narrowed, a stent can be used to hold the ducts open. An ERCP can take anything from thirty minutes to over an hour, depending on what is done.
An empty stomach is necessary for the best examination so you will be asked not to eat or drink anything for a period of six hours. Sedation may be administered to make you more comfortable. Dr Papageorgiou brings his skills and expertise in performing this highly technical endoscopic procedure.