Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a minimally invasive procedure that combines endoscopy and fluoroscopy to diagnose and treat disorders of the bile ducts, pancreatic ducts, and gallbladder. ERCP is a safe and effective procedure that can help diagnose and treat a variety of conditions related to the biliary and pancreatic systems.
One of the most common applications of ERCP is the removal of common bile duct stones. These stones are formed from bile components and can cause jaundice, pain, and inflammation of the pancreas. ERCP is used to remove these stones and can be performed as an outpatient procedure.
During the procedure, an endoscope is inserted through the mouth and into the duodenum, where it can access the opening of the bile duct. A catheter is then inserted into the duct and contrast dye is injected to visualize any stones or blockages. If stones are detected, a small basket or balloon is used to remove them.
ERCP can also be used to place plastic or metallic stents in patients with cancer of the gallbladder or pancreas. These stents can help relieve blockages caused by the tumor and can improve the patient’s quality of life. The stent can be inserted through the bile duct during the ERCP procedure, and can remain in place for several months.
In emergency situations, ERCP can also be used to place stents for relief of pain, fever, and jaundice caused by cholangitis. Cholangitis is a serious condition that occurs when the bile ducts become infected and inflamed. The placement of a stent can help relieve the pressure and improve the patient’s symptoms.
In conclusion, ERCP is a safe and effective procedure that can help diagnose and treat a variety of conditions related to the biliary and pancreatic systems. From the removal of common bile duct stones to the placement of stents for cancer patients and emergency situations, ERCP is a versatile procedure that can significantly improve patient outcomes.
Dr. Sandeep Dhavan
MBBS,MD (Medicine), DM (Gastroenterology) (PGIMER-Chandigarh, India)
Gastroenterology & Hepatology