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Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is an advanced procedure that is used to diagnose and treat many diseases of the pancreas, bile ducts, liver and gallbladder. ERCP combines the use of x-rays and an endoscope, which is a long, flexible tube with a lighted video camera. Through the endoscope, we can see the inside of the stomach and first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A contrast dye is then injected to delineate the ducts on x-ray films and uncover any abnormalities. In addition, tissue or fluid samples may be obtained for laboratory analysis.Why is ERCP performed?

  • To detect bile duct obstructions in and around the liver and gallbladder - such as tumors, stones and abnormal narrowing that may be causing pain and jaundice (yellowing of the skin).
  • To diagnose or to rule out cancer of the pancreas
  • To determine the cause of ongoing pancreatic inflammation.
  • To remove bile duct stones, dilate narrow ducts, unblock obstruction and open the muscular ring where the common bile duct enters the small intestine.