No Referral Required

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

Treat And Diagnose Gallstones, Tumors, Or Scarring

No Referral Required

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, can be useful in treating and diagnosing problems associated with the GI tract. The GI tract includes the stomach, lower intestine and other parts of the body linked to the intestine, such as the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. This procedure combines X-ray and the use of an endoscope—a long, flexible, lighted tube.

What to Expect

Your physician will pass a thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end, known as an endoscope, down your throat, into the esophagus, through the stomach and into the duodenum. The duodenum is a part of the small intestine. This procedure may be helpful when there is a blockage of the bile ducts by gallstones, tumors or scarring. Bile, a substance produced by the liver, is important in the digestion and absorption of fats. Bile is carried from the liver through a system of tubes, known as bile ducts. Depending on the individual, ERCP can be done as an outpatient procedure or may require hospitalization.

Preparation for the Procedure

Dizziness and headache could be signs of low blood sugar or lack of caffeine. Drinking a regular caffeinated beverage (not diet) or apple juice may alleviate these symptoms.

You should not eat or drink anything for at least six hours, prior to the ERCP or after midnight if the procedure is scheduled first thing in the morning.

No candy or gum is allowed 4 hours prior to your procedure.

Patients should inform the doctor of all current medications, including aspirins, aspirin containing drugs or blood thinners. Be sure to tell your physician about any allergic reactions to drugs, especially antibiotics or pain medications.

Day of Procedure

Loose comfortable clothing is recommended. You can wear make up but we advise patients not to wear jewelry.

No, since sedatives are used, another driver is needed. This driver MUST stay during the procedure or the procedure will not be performed. This is for your personal safety. You may bring more than one person with you, but only one person can be with you in recovery due to space limitations.

Medication for blood pressure, heart conditions, and seizure should be taken the morning of your exam regardless of the color. Light blue and light pink medications are also fine for you to take. Tylenol may be taken for a headache even though the color may be red.

Yes, please.

Yes, you may wear your dentures to the Endoscopy suite. However, you will be asked to remove them prior to the procedure, so please do not “glue” them in. you will be given a denture cup to put your dentures in during the procedure. You do not have to bring one.

ERCPs are performed at the hospital. We ask patients to arrive early in order to get you registered, complete a pre-procedure assessment and start the IV.

After the Procedure

You may have residual anesthesia in your system, additional rest is recommended. This will improve over the next few hours.

No, please take it easy the rest of the day, due to the sedatives you may not think clearly for several hours. DO NOT DRIVE. You can return to work the day after unless your physician specifically tells you otherwise.

Results are given by the doctor to you in the recovery room. You may or may not remember talking to the doctor, so your results will also be in your discharge instructions. Pathology may take up to 2 weeks to get results.

We have implemented our Patient Portal to enable you to receive your lab, pathology and radiology test results at your convenience. You may also ask your questions through the portal.  First – Get enrolled in the Portal at Once Enrolled in the Portal, you will log into your account at For New Results: You will receive an email notice that new results are ready for your review. You will log into your Portal account to get those results. You must be enrolled within 3 days after your procedure for your results to be posted to the portal.  To Ask Questions, Request an Appointment or Request Copies of Previous Records: You will log into your Portal account and request those services.  **Please note: Enroll in our Patient Portal soon. Results can’t be sent automatically until you have created your portal account. If we have your email address, you will receive an email with the link to the enrollment site.

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