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ERCP Procedure and Cholangioscopy

What is ERCP?

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, is used to study the biliary system, which includes the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. Used in conjunction with ERCP, cholangioscopy allows a more detailed visual examination by passing a small, optical camera through the  endoscope.

Why it's recommended:

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 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.