ERCP

ERCP | Gallstones Treatment Torrance CA | Long Beach CA

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) enables the physician to diagnose problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas. The liver is a large organ that, among other things, makes a liquid called bile that helps with digestion. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that stores bile until it is needed for digestion. The bile ducts are tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine. These ducts are sometimes called the biliary tree. The pancreas is a large gland that produces chemicals that help with digestion and hormones such as insulin.ERCP is used primarily to diagnose and treat conditions of the bile ducts including gallstones, inflammatory strictures (scars), leaks (from trauma and surgery), and cancer. ERCP combines the use of x rays and an endoscope, which is a long, flexible, lighted tube. Through it, the physician can see the inside of the stomach and duodenum, and inject dyes into the ducts in the biliary tree and pancreas so they can be seen on x rays.

For the procedure, you will lie on your stomach on an examining table in an x ray room. You will be sedated during the exam.  The physician will guide the scope through your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum until it reaches the spot where the ducts of the biliary tree and pancreas open into the duodenum.  The physician will pass a small plastic tube through the scope to cannulate the bile duct or pancreatic duct. Through the tube, the physician will inject a dye into the ducts to make them show up clearly on x rays. X rays are taken as soon as the dye is injected.

If the exam shows a gallstone or narrowing of the ducts, the physician can insert instruments into the scope to remove or relieve the obstruction. Also, tissue samples (biopsy) can be taken for further testing.

Possible complications of ERCP include pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), infection, bleeding, and perforation of the duodenum. Except for pancreatitis, such problems are uncommon. You may have tenderness or a lump where the sedative was injected, but that should go away in a few days.

ERCP takes 30 minutes to 2 hours. After the procedure, you will need to stay at the hospital for 1 to 2 hours until the sedative wears off. The physician will make sure you do not have signs of complications before you leave. If any kind of treatment is done during ERCP, such as removing a gallstone, you may need to stay in the hospital overnight.


Preparation

Your stomach and duodenum must be empty for the procedure to be accurate and safe. You will not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure, or for 6 to 8 hours beforehand, depending on the time of your procedure. Also, the physician will need to know whether you have any allergies, especially to iodine, which is in the dye. You must also arrange for someone to take you home–you will not be allowed to drive because of the sedatives. The physician may give you other special instructions
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Dear South Bay Gastroenterology patients,

Our thoughts are with our patients, their loved ones, and our entire South Bay community during this unprecedented time. We would like to share our support as well as updates on SBGI’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The safety and well-being of the community are of the utmost importance to us, and we are vigilantly monitoring and evaluating this evolving situation. In light of concerns around COVID-19 and the recommendations and guidance of numerous agencies, we have elected to pre-emptively suspend all non-urgent office consultations and outpatient procedures. The office will remain open for urgent consultations only, and all non-urgent follow-ups will be served via Telehealth or be rescheduled. We will continue to provide hospital coverage for our inpatient population at both Torrance Memorial Medical Center and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center. SBGI has been in daily communications with both hospital leadership teams in our unified effort to curtail the spread of this virus. We will provide additional updates in the coming weeks to inform you about any changes to public and practice policies. As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout our country, the health and safety of our patients, healthcare providers, and employees is a top priority for South Bay Gastroenterology. We regret any inconvenience this may cause to your schedule and look forward to continuing to serve your healthcare needs.

Please submit any questions via our website and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Kim Georgian
Administrator
South Bay Gastroenterology