Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) Specialist

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) services offered in South Bend, Plymouth and LaPorte, IN

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure to evaluate and treat problems in the gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreatic ducts. The experienced providers of Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc offer comprehensive gastroenterology care at offices in Plymouth, La Porte, and South Bend, Indiana, with an additional office in The South Bend Clinic on North Eddy Street. To schedule your ERCP or other testing, call the office nearest you or book an appointment using online scheduling now.

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) Q & A

What is ERCP?

ERCP is a test to evaluate and treat issues involving the gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreatic ducts. An ERCP combines endoscopy, in which a thin tube with a light and camera passes into your upper digestive tract, and X-ray imaging to get highly detailed images of these areas.

If needed, your Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc provider can also administer some treatments through the endoscope.

When might I need an ERCP?

You might need an ERCP for one of the following reasons:

  • Locating and removing gallstones in the bile duct
  • Identifying the cause of acute pancreatitis (pancreas irritation)
  • Treating duct-clogging tumors
  • Treating duct leaking

In most cases, patients first have an imaging test, for example, an endoscopic ultrasound, that identifies the problem. Then, they may need an ERCP to examine the problem more closely and treat the issue.

Sometimes initial testing may not reveal the cause of your symptoms, but an ERCP is a more in-depth test that can uncover the root cause of your issues.

How does an ERCP work?

In an ERCP, you’ll be sedated but able to breathe normally. Some patients may require general anesthesia. You’ll lay on either your left side or face-down (on your belly) for the ERCP procedure.

Your Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc provider inserts the endoscope in your mouth and threads it down to the first part of the small intestine. They pass a tube through the endoscope, which your provider uses to deliver a special dye.

Your provider takes X-rays of your gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreatic ducts. The dye highlights problem areas on X-rays. Your provider can then use this information to determine what type of treatment you need.

In many cases, your provider immediately takes tissue samples (biopsies), treats blockages, widens narrowed areas, removes stones, or removes tumors by passing special tools through the endoscope.

You’ll remain on-site until you wake up fully, but after that you can go home with your pre-chosen driver. 

What should I do before my ERCP?

Before your ERCP, Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc provides you a list of specific preparation instructions. This normally includes fasting (including no food, drink, gum chewing, or smoking) for six to eight hours prior to your procedure.

You’ll discuss your medications individually with your provider, as they may instruct you to temporarily suspend use before your ERCP.

Call Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc, or click on the online scheduler to book your appointment with a gastroenterology expert now.