ERCP is a specialized procedure used to study the bile ducts of the
gallbladder, pancreas and liver. A duodenoscope is a soft, flexible
instrument, about the diameter of a finger, with a light and lens
on the end. The scope is passed through the mouth, food pipe (esophagus)
and stomach into the duodenum (first part of the small bowel). The
bile ducts from the liver and pancreas empty into the duodenum and a very
small plastic tube (catheter) is passed through the scope into the ducts.
A dye (contrast material) is injected gently through the catheter and into
the ducts and x-rays are taken. If you are allergic to iodine or
dye, please inform your doctor of this. This procedure is performed
in the x-ray department. During the procedure you will be laying
on your stomach with your head turned to the right. You will be given
sedation for this test. Certain treatments may also be given through
the scope such as the removal of gallstones from the ducts or insertion
of a stent into the bile duct. If you experience any discomfort
during the procedure, additional sedation or pain medication may be given.
During the procedure your blood pressure, pulse and breathing will be monitored.
1. DO NOT eat or drink after midnight before the procedure.
Your stomach should be empty during the test.
2. Arrive at the hospital one hour prior to your scheduled
procedure time. Bring your insurance cards and information.
3. A responsible person must come with you who can stay during
the procedure and drive you home.
What to Expect:
Before your procedure you will be interviewed by a Registered Nurse.
She will ask some questions about your symptoms, health history and take
your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. If you do not know them
by name, please bring a list of your allergies and current medications.
An I.V. will be started in your arm and a blood sample may be taken.
After your procedure you will be sleepy. Your blood pressure and
pulse will be monitored frequently. You will stay in the recovery
area until you are alert and oriented and your vital signs are stable.
You will receive written discharge instructions and appropriate teaching
materials before you leave. You will not be able to drive for the
rest of the day and should not plan on working the day of your test.