Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP)
How It Is Done continued...
You will need to lie on
your left side. Your head will be tilted slightly forward. A mouth guard may be
inserted to protect your teeth from the scope. The scope's tip will be lubricated. The doctor will guide it into your mouth while gently pressing your
tongue out of the way. You may be asked to swallow to help move the tube along.
The scope is no thicker than many foods you swallow.
When the scope is
in your esophagus, your head will be tilted upright to help the scope slide
down. Then your doctor will slowly move the scope into your stomach
and duodenum. Your doctor looks at all three of these areas as the
scope moves forward. When it reaches your duodenum, you will be
turned over to lie flat on your belly.
A small amount of air will be
injected through the scope. This makes it easier for the doctor to see. The
doctor will move the scope forward until it reaches the point where the ducts from the
pancreas and gallbladder drain into the duodenum. A thin tube
called a catheter is then passed through the scope into that area. Then
contrast material is injected into the bile or pancreatic ducts. Several X-rays
are taken. You will stay on your belly until the X-rays are ready to view. If needed, the doctor may take more X-rays.
The doctor may insert small tools through the scope. This allows the doctor to take a tissue sample, remove a gallstone, open a narrowed bile duct, or place a stent.
When the test is done, the scope is slowly
After the test
After the test, you
will be observed in a recovery room. If your throat was numbed
before the test, you will not be allowed to eat or drink until your throat is
no longer numb. You will need to be able to swallow without choking. You can then eat and drink normally.
If your doctor removed a gallstone or placed a stent during the test, you
may need to stay a night in the hospital. You cannot drive or return to work for 24 hours. If you can go home the day of the test, you will need to have someone drive you.
doctor will check for signs of problems before you go
After the test, you may feel bloated and notice a temporary change in your
bowel habits. This is because air was used to open the bile and
pancreatic ducts. Call your doctor if you have bleeding from the rectum or
if your stools look black or bloody.