2016-06-16 18:08:24 UTC

ERCP 102: What is the Purpose of an ERCP?

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ERCP is an endoscopic procedure used to inject dye into the bile and pancreas ducts. X-ray pictures are then taken.  

  • ERCP can see if there is a blockage or narrowing in your biliary or pancreatic ducts caused by stones, tumors or scarring.
  • ERCP is frequently performed to find the cause of abnormal liver-chemistry tests and to follow up on an abnormal ultrasound, CT scan or MRI exam.
  • During an ERCP, if any blocks are found, tools can be passed through to relieve the block. Stones can be removed from the common bile duct or pancreatic duct and blocks can be dilated, biopsied and/or stented.
  • ERCP can relieve jaundice (when your skin and/or the whites of your eyes turn yellow) caused by blocked bile ducts.
  • ERCP can help find the cause of pancreatitis, inflammation (swelling and redness) of the pancreas, and prevent future attacks.
  • ERCP may help you avoid surgery in some cases.


© AGA, September 2017

©AGA, July 2016

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