What can I expect during an ERCP?

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During an endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) procedure your doctor might apply a local anesthetic to your throat and/or give you a sedative to make you more comfortable. Your doctor might even ask an anesthesiologist to administer sedation if your procedure is complex or lengthy. Some patients also receive antibiotics before the procedure. You will lie on your abdomen on an X-ray table. The instrument does not interfere with breathing, but you might feel a bloating sensation because of the air introduced through the instrument.
Deborah Davis
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
During an ERCP, your doctor might apply a local anesthetic to your throat and/or give you a sedative to make you more comfortable.  Your doctor might even ask an anesthesiologist to administer sedation if your procedure is complex or lengthy.  Some patients also receive antibiotics before the procedure. You will lie on your abdomen on an X-ray table. Your doctor will pass an endoscope through your mouth, esophagus and stomach into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine).  An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube that lets your doctor see inside your bowels.  The instrument does not interfere with breathing, but you might feel a bloating sensation because of the air introduced through the instrument.   After the doctor sees the common opening to the ducts from the liver and pancreas, call the major duodenal papilla, your doctor will pass a narrow plastic tube called a catheter through the endoscope and into the ducts.  You doctor will inject a contrast material (dye) into the pancreatic or biliary ducts and will take X-rays.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.