ERCP in A Nutshell
ERCP which also stands for Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is a technique used to cure and treat specific health problems of the biliary or pancreatic ductal systems. In this process, the physician uses a flexible light tube (endoscope) which is not thicker than our index finger and places it through the patient’s mouth and into the stomach and duodenum. Duodenum is the initial part of the small intestine where there is a small opening called ampulla. After that, cannula, a small plastic tube, is passed through the endoscope into the opening. The technique is to use a dye which is a contrast material which shows radiation due to X-ray. So that the physician can study the ducts of the pancreas and liver from the X-rays.
WHY IS ERCP PERFORMED:
The main reason to perform an ERCP is to test pancreas or bile ducts conditions along with treating them. To clarify abnormal results of blood tests, or CT scans, abdominal pain, jaundice, and weight loss, tumors, both cancerous and noncancerous, can be diagnosed with ERCP. It can also assist in gallbladder surgery or yo remove a bile duct stone and occasionally, pancreatic stone and it will show if the patient needs an operation and even which conventional operation will suit him/her the best. Therefore, this is one of the most effective and economic diagnosing technology comparing to others.
EXPECTATIONS DURING AND COMPLICATIONS AFTER ERCP:
A local anesthetic will numb the patient’s throat to prevent gagging. Medications will be given every once in a while to help the patient relax during the diagnosis. The time duration is about an hour but may vary depending on the planned intervention. The endoscope does not interfere with the breathing. Most patients fall asleep or find it slightly uncomfortable. Even though ERCP is a safe procedure minor risks may occur.The physician should discuss the primary risks before the procedure.
- Post discomfort: The patient’s throat can be sore for a day or two. The effects of sedation may make the patient forget what he/she was instructed to do after the procedure.
- Aspiration: Normally, a patient needs to fast for 8 hours before the process with a timetable provided by the doctors to keep the stomach and esophagus clean as food in the stomach refluxes into the back of the throat and is inhaled resulting in breathing problem or pneumonia.
- Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas occurs only in 3% to 7% of all patients who undergo ERCP which felt like a severe abdominal pain that is mostly mild, but rarely, in extreme cases is fatal and requires hospitalization.
ERCP (endoscopic retrograde collagen-pancreatiatography) test launched at Parkway Hospital Chittagong. Please contact for details 031-2555071-5, 031-657901-5, 01976-022333, number 01976-022111.