When you have symptoms that indicate a liver or gallbladder problem but tests aren't finding the cause, an ERCP procedure might be necessary. The experienced team at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. performs expert ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) at their facilities in Annapolis, Stevensville, Odenton, Bowie, and Pasadena, Maryland. Call the office nearest you to find out more or book an appointment online today.
An ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) is a diagnostic tool the team at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates uses to examine your liver and gallbladder. They're also able to check the health of your biliary ducts, which transport the digestive fluid bile, and your pancreatic duct.
An ERCP uses X-ray imaging and an endoscope – a long, narrow tube fitted with a tiny light and camera. Your provider passes the endoscope down your esophagus, through your stomach, and into your duodenum, which is the first segment of your small intestine.
The endoscope sends back images of the duct openings to a monitor in the treatment room for your provider to examine. Next, they insert a slim tube called a catheter into the endoscope and then inject a dye into the ducts that shows up on your X-rays.
You might need to undergo an ERCP if you have abdominal pain or jaundice, which is a yellowish tint to the skin and whites of the eyes.
You may also need an ERCP if you have:
Before undergoing an ERCP, your provider at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates performs a comprehensive physical exam and review of your condition. They also carry out less invasive procedures, such as blood tests, before recommending an ERCP.
In most cases, ERCP takes place under local anesthetic with a sedative to keep you relaxed. You lie face down on a special X-ray table, and your provider passes the endoscope down to your stomach.
You might experience some bloating due to the introduction of air during the ERCP. However, you won't feel any pain thanks to the sedative and anesthetic, and you can breathe normally.
An ERCP is typically an outpatient procedure, so you can go home once your sedative wears off. Your provider can discuss the findings with you when you're in the recovery area following your ERCP.
To find out more about ERCP or discuss any symptoms of concern, call Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. or book an appointment online today.