Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg
Gastroenterology located in Fredericksburg, VA & Stafford, VA
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure that allows your gastroenterologist to evaluate and treat conditions affecting the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Unfortunately, not all gastroenterologists perform ERCP. At Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg, the team includes two physicians with advanced fellowship training in the ERCP procedure. To schedule an appointment with the highly skilled team, call the office in Fredericksburg or Stafford, Virginia, or book an appointment online today.
What is endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)?
ERCP is a procedure that combines X-ray imaging with endoscopic procedures, such as an upper endoscopy, to diagnose and treat conditions involving the bile ducts and pancreatic ducts.
The bile and pancreatic ducts are drainage tubes. The bile duct carries bile from your liver to your gallbladder and small intestine; the pancreatic ducts drain digestive juices from the pancreas to the small intestine.
Both bile and the digestive juices from the pancreas help you digest food.
Why do I need an ERCP?
The team at Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg may recommend an ERCP if you have abdominal pain with an unknown cause or yellowing of the skin. The diagnostic test may help find conditions such as:
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Cancer of the bile ducts
- Blockages in the bile ducts
- Infections in the ducts
During the ERCP, your gastroenterologist can treat these conditions too.
What happens during an ERCP?
Only doctors with specialized training can perform an ERCP. The Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg team includes two ERCP fellowship-trained physicians.
Your physician gives you anesthesia before the ERCP to reduce pain and help you relax. During the procedure, your gastroenterologist inserts an endoscope in your mouth and advances it towards the first portion of your small intestine.
Your gastroenterologist locates the duct opening in your small intestine, inserts a catheter, and injects a contrast dye. Your doctor then uses X-ray imaging to examine the ducts, performing any necessary procedure to treat the ducts, such as opening a blocked duct or removing stones. They may also biopsy any tissue and send it to the lab for analysis.
What can I expect after an ERCP?
You’re sent to the recovery area after your ERCP for monitoring; then, the team sends you home. You must have someone drive you home after the procedure. Unless your doctor says otherwise, you can resume your usual diet after your ERCP.
In some cases, the physicians may recommend an overnight stay at the hospital following your ERCP.
To learn more about the ERCP, call one of the Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg offices or schedule an appointment online today.
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