ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)
What is an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)?
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a test that uses a combination of X-rays and an endoscope. An endoscope is a lighted flexible tube with an attached camera.
Gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in gastrointestinal disorders) use ERCP to examine and treat problems that affect the liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts. Bile ducts carry bile from your liver to the gallbladder and on to the pancreas and intestines. Bile is a fluid that breaks down fat in foods.
Why do healthcare providers perform ERCP?
Doctors use ERCP to diagnose and treat problems that affect the:
- Bile ducts, including cancer, stones and strictures.
- Gallbladder, including gallstones and cholecystitis (inflamed gallbladder).
- Pancreas, including pancreatitis (inflamed, swollen pancreas), pancreatic cancer and pancreatic cysts and pseudocysts.