Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is an exam used to evaluate your bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gallbladder. You will be given a sedative and then an endoscope (thin, flexible tube with a light and camera) is passed through your mouth to the opening of your ducts from the liver and pancreas. At this point in the exam, your physician will pass a small catheter through the endoscope and into the ducts. A contrast (dye) will be injected through the catheter to highlight the ducts and x-rays will be obtained.
ERCP is used to diagnose certain conditions, such as pancreatitis, and is useful in removing stones from the bile duct causing blockages. Stents may also be placed during this procedure to open narrowed ducts and prevent further blockages caused by certain health conditions.