ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreography)

ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreography)

ERCP, which is one of the methods that are generally not well known, is an intervention in the biliary tract opening into the duodenum as Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreography. This intervention can be performed for diagnosis or treatment. With endoscopy, a thin cannula passed through the endoscope is inserted into the millimetric bile duct located in the duodenum through the oesophagus and stomach.

After this stage, it is determined whether there is any abnormality in the bile inlet or inside. These can be determined as abnormalities such as stones, tumours or stenosis. Although it seems to be a very labouring procedure, ERCP is one of the simplest procedures.

This ERCP procedure is a very simple procedure that usually takes between 20-30 minutes. If a stone or tumour is detected, it is possible to intervene immediately at this time. It should not be forgotten that it is possible to reveal the data that other devices cannot obtain thanks to this device.

What is ERCP, How is it done?

ERCP or endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography is the name given to the visualisation of the bile ducts and pancreatic duct through the endoscopy device by administering a special drug that allows the bile ducts to be seen on X-rays and, if necessary, some treatments such as removing the stone causing obstructive jaundice in the duct, opening the stenosis of the bile duct mouth, taking a biopsy.

Bile is a special fluid secreted in the liver and used to digest fats. It is stored between meals and secreted for digestion following the meal. The bile duct enters the duodenum through a protrusion called papilla. The bile duct is entered through this protrusion called papilla.

In which cases is ERCP performed?

The most common reason for ERCP is the presence of stones in the bile ducts. It is performed to remove the obstruction caused by the stone formed in the gallbladder falling into the main bile duct. Other indications for ERCP include biliary tract and pancreatic tumours, biliary stenosis, bile duct leakage (especially after surgical interventions) and some pancreatic diseases.

What are the Complications of ERCP?

Although the procedure is generally safe, ERCP also has some complications. The most important of these complications are inflammation of the pancreatic gland (pancreatitis), bleeding during the electrical incision or perforation of the intestine. Although these complications can usually be resolved by endoscopic intervention, surgical intervention is rarely necessary and hospitalisation may be required. Sometimes the procedure may fail due to anatomical or technical reasons. In experienced hands, ERCP procedure is more than 95% successful and safe.

Despite all these risks, ERCP is the safest intervention in the above-mentioned diseases and especially in cases of stones falling into the biliary tract and is the first choice for interventions in the biliary tract.

Things to Consider When Coming to ERCP

  • – Fasting is required for at least 6-7 hours before the procedure.
  • – The doctor and nurse who will perform the procedure should be informed separately about other diseases, allergies and medications used by the patient to be treated.
  • – If you are likely to be pregnant, be sure to warn your doctor.
  • – Blood thinners should be discontinued 7-10 days in advance.

What Should Be Considered After ERCP Procedure?

After the ERCP procedure, you should not drive because of the sedative medication given. During the procedure, air is introduced to open the intestine sufficiently, so there will be some feeling of fullness and gas complaints after the procedure. Stool softening and changes in bowel habits may occur for a few days.

Always ask your doctor for food intake a few hours after the procedure. In cases such as bleeding from the rectum, tar-coloured stools, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, weakness and dizziness, fever above 37.5 C, it is useful to inform your doctor.

Does ERCP Application Cause Pain?

When ERCP is performed, people usually have many concerns. As a primary question, there may be questions about whether ERCP application causes pain. Since ERCP application is taken orally, it can cause effects such as nausea, vomiting and pain.

Even before this method is applied, the doctor says that the patient should not eat or drink anything at certain intervals. In this respect, it can be said that the patient’s stomach should be completely empty. In order to prevent the patient from suffering too much, a drug that provides sedation is used. This procedure is then performed.

Although ERCP is seen as a very demanding procedure, it ends in 20 or 30 minutes. In this respect, it would not be correct to say that it is very challenging.

Is ERCP a Reliable Procedure?

It is known that one of the general questions of patients is Is ERCP reliable? ERCP procedure is one of the completely safe procedures. It does not have any side effects. After the procedure, the patient may experience loss of appetite or nausea for a short time. These are quite normal effects.

People undergoing ERCP do not require hospitalisation. There is no problem in sending the patient home after the ERCP procedure is performed by appointment. ERCP procedure is performed by experienced gastro- enterology specialists.

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