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ERCP is a procedure that combines the functionalities of an X-ray and endoscope, a lighted, flexible tube with an attached camera to diagnose and treat concerns of the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas.

ERCP can be used to diagnose and treat conditions such as:

  • Tumors
  • Gallstones
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Inflamed gallbladder
  • Infection in the bile ducts
  • Blockages or stones in the bile ducts
  • Fluid leakage from the bile or pancreatic ducts
  • Blockages or narrowing of the pancreatic ducts

Our team of North American and European Certified gastroenterologists utilize ERCP to diagnose and treat gastrointestinal concerns as it is a relatively low-risk procedure that allows for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of certain bile duct and gastrointestinal problems.

How is the procedure performed?

ERCP is performed under local anesthesia and has a short treatment time of about one to two hours, allowing the patient to be discharged the same day provided there are no complications.

During the procedure, the gastroenterologist guides the endoscope along the gastrointestinal tract, and attaches another tube, called a catheter to the endoscope until it reaches the bile and pancreatic ducts. The physician then injects a special dye through the catheter and records the dye traveling through the ducts with the help of gastrointestinal X-rays (fluoroscopy) to check for signs of blockages and other concerns. The doctor may also insert tiny instruments to break up and remove stones, place stents to open blocked or narrowed ducts, and extract tumors or tissue samples for biopsy.

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