ERCP Procedure Information

What is ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)?

ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) is a procedure that is used to diagnose diseases of the gallbladder, bile system, pancreas, and liver.

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located under the liver in the upper right part of the abdomen. The gallbladder’s main purpose is to collect bile, a digestive agent produced by the liver.

Gallbladder problems are caused by gallstones, small masses that form in the gallbladder or the bile duct. Gallstones might block the flow of bile from the gallbladder, causing it to swell. Symptoms might include sharp pain in the abdomen, vomiting, and indigestion. Gallbladder pain might start after a meal, and it can be severe or steady. If it is not treated, the symptoms might get worse.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/09/2016.


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