Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
is a technique that uses endoscopy and X-rays to diagnose and treat problems of the bile ducts and main pancreatic duct, like gallstones, inflammatory strictures (scars), infection, pancreatitis, trauma or surgical complications in your bile or pancreatic ducts, tumors and cancers.
Through the endoscope, the physician can see the inside of the stomach and duodenum. Once the source of the problem is known, the doctor may then treat it by performing various procedures.
ERCP combines the use of x-rays and an endoscope (a long, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end) which allows the doctor to see the inside of the stomach and duodenum on x-ray.
A small plastic tube called cannula is inserted through the endoscope into the bile and pancreatic ducts from the small intestine. The doctor injects a dye into the ducts to allow them to show on x-rays. The patient is sedated or anesthetized during the process.
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