A procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, is used to identify and address issues with the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. It involves X-rays as well as using an endoscope a large, flexible, and illuminated tube. Your doctor directs an endoscope through the throat and mouth and then through the stomach, esophagus, and into the beginning in the small intestine (duodenum). The healthcare professional can look at the insides of these organs and look for signs of problems. Then, the doctor will run a tube through the microscope and then inject color. The dye highlights the organs in the X-ray.
What is the reason I may require ERCP?
There is a possibility that you will require ERCP to determine the root of abdominal pain that is not explained or the yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice). It can be utilized to obtain more details if you suffer from pancreatitis, cancer of the pancreas, liver, or bile ducts.
Other things that could be identified in ERCP are
- Stones or blockages in the bile passageways
- Leakage of fluid through the pancreatic or bile organs
- A narrowing or blockage of the pancreatic tubes
- Infections of the bile in the ducts
What are the dangers of ERCP?
It is possible to inquire with your doctor about the radiation dose that is used in the test. Also, inquire about the risk factors that are applicable to you.
Take note of all X-rays you have, including any previous scans and X-rays for any other health issues. Provide this list to your doctor. The dangers of radiation exposure can be linked to the number of X-rays in your body over the course of time.
If you’re pregnant or suspect you are consult your physician. Exposure to radiation during pregnancy can result in birth defects.
Inform your doctor if you have an allergy or are sensitive to any medications such as Iodine, contrast dyes, or latex.
A few possible issues could be
- Pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis) is also known as gallbladder (cholecystitis). Pancreatitis is among the most frequently occurring problems and should be discussed with your doctor before the time. Remember, however it is important to remember that ERCP is usually used to treat the condition in certain forms of pancreatitis.
- An injury to the liner of the upper portion of the small intestinal tract the stomach, or esophagus
- The collection of bile is outside the system of biliary elimination (biloma)
It is possible that you will not be able to get ERCP If
- You’ve undergone a stomach (GI) procedure that restricted the ducts in the biliary tree.
- There are pouches in your stomach (esophageal diverticula) or another abnormal anatomy that makes the test challenging to carry out. Sometimes, the ERCP is altered to function in these circumstances.
- Barium is present in the intestines following an earlier barium procedure as it could interfere with an ERCP
Other risks could depend on your medical condition. Make sure you talk about any concerns with your physician prior to the procedure.
How can I prepare for ERCP?
Guidelines for ERCP preparation comprise the following:
- The doctor who treats you will go over the procedure, and you are able to ask questions.
- It is possible to be required to fill out a consent document that gives you permission to conduct the test. Be sure to read the form attentively as well as ask any questions you have if you think something is unclear.
- Inform your doctor whether you’ve ever experienced an allergic reaction to any of the contrast dyes or if you’re sensitive to Iodine.
- Inform your doctor whether you’re sensitive to or allergic to any medication such as latex, tape, or anesthesia.
- Avoid eating or drinking liquids for eight hours prior to the procedure. There may be additional guidelines regarding a diet that you should follow for 1 to two days prior to the procedure.
- If you’re pregnant or suspect that you are inform your doctor.
- Tell your healthcare professional about any medications (prescribed as well as over-the-counter) as well as herbal supplements you take.
- Discuss with your doctor whether you have a previous history of bleeding disorders or if you take any blood thinners (anticoagulants) such as naproxen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or any other medications that can affect blood clotting. It is possible to be advised to take these medications off before the procedure.
- If you suffer from heart valve problems the doctor who treats you might prescribe antibiotics prior to the procedure.
- You’ll be awake during the procedure, however, you will receive a sedative prior to the procedure. Depending on the type of anesthesia the patient could be completely asleep and never be able to feel any sensation. It is necessary to have someone transport you back home.
- Follow any other directions that your service provider gives you to be ready.
- What happens next after ERCP?
- After the procedure will be transported to the recovery area. When your pulse, blood pressure, and breathing are in good condition and you’re awake then you’ll be transported to your hospital room, or released at home. If this procedure was carried out as an outpatient, it is recommended to have someone else drive you to your home.
- You won’t be able to consume food or drink until your gag reflex is back. It is possible that you will experience discomfort in your throat or in swallowing for several days. It’s normal.
- In many cases, a rectal suppository of a certain medicine is prescribed following an ERCP to lower the chance of developing pancreatitis.
- You can return to your normal diet and routine following the procedure unless your doctor informs you otherwise.