Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

ERCP is a technique that allows physicians to study the bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gallbladder. It is a combination of endoscopy and X-rays, and can be used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions.

Before an ERCP procedure, the patient receives medication to help him or her relax. He or she may also receive pain-relieving medication. A flexible, lighted tube is placed in the patient’s mouth, then extended down into the stomach and the first portion of the small intestine.

An ERCP is performed to:

  • Evaluate chronic stomach pain
  • Find diseases of the liver, gallstones, bile ducts, or pancreas
  • Remove gallstones
  • Alleviate bile duct obstruction
  • Take a sample of tissue

Preparation for the test involves specific instructions from a physician as to when to stop eating and drinking. After the procedure, patients may not drive for 24 hours.


Note: This information shouldn’t take the place of a physician’s care. Please see your physician or Dr. Suman Kaur of Digestive Disease Associates with any questions or concerns — or to schedule a procedure — at (630) 325-4255.