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ERCP Procedure and Cholangioscopy

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography or ERCP is a test used to study the biliary system, which includes the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. 

A Cholangioscopy procedure, when used in conjunction with ERCP,  allows a more detailed visual examination by passing a small, optical camera through the endoscope.

Why it's recommended:

ERCP indications are: To access, inspect, diagnose and treat conditions such as gallstones, strictures or obstructions in the biliary ducts; to break up and remove large stones, and to clear ducts for better drainage.

How to prepare:

You will not be allowed to eat or drink for several hours before the procedure.

What to expect during ERCP:

Your doctor passes an endoscope through your mouth into the duodenum. From there, a catheter is passed through the endoscope into the biliary ducts, where a contrast material is injected so that x-rays may be taken. Cholangioscopy may also be introduced.

What happens next:

Upon waking in a recovery bay, you won't have any recollection of the ERCP procedure and might feel a little 'foggy' from the sedative. It's mandatory that a companion be available to drive you home. Your throat may feel a little sore, but you should be able to resume your regular diet approximately two hours after the procedure. Preliminary results may be discussed, and if necessary, a follow-up appointment with any physician on Memorial Hermann's multi-disciplinary team may be scheduled.