Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure used to identify stones, tumors, or narrowing in the bile ducts. The procedure is done through an endoscope.

The procedure is used mostly to treat any problems of the pancreas or bile ducts that can cause abdominal pain usually in the right upper or middle stomach area) and yellowing of the skin and eye (jaundice).

ERCP may be used to:

1. Open the entry of the ducts into the bowel (sphincterotomy)

2. Stretch out narrow segments (bile duct strictures)

3. Remove or crush gallstones

4. Take tissue samples to diagnose a:

          A. Tumor of the pancreas, bile ducts, or gallbladder

          B. Conditions called biliary cirrhosis or sclerosing cholangitis

5. Drain blocked areas by keeping a Stent.