Patient Information
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.

Special Instructions:
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.