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About ERCP

ercp

ERCP stands for Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography. It is the way to diagnose and treat the vaguely abnormal that occurs in the abdomen. ERCP takes the role to detect problems in the liver, and bile ducts. gallbladder and pancreas. Stone removal, balloon dilation or tissue sampling are some examples that can be proceeded by ERCP. 


What is ERCP

ERCP is a medical treatment, that stands for Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography. It is the method using endoscopes and X-rays as a tool. ERCP is used to diagnose and treat the diseases which occur in the biliary and pancreatic. It will inject the substance to highlight the area and ERCP will help the physician to examine the diseases. 


Why ERCP Might be Necessary

ERCP is also able to discover the following abnormalities:


Treatments via ERCP

Balloon Dilation

ERCP is an important tool to proceed with balloon dilation. This method will help enlarge the narrowed area, in case the cause of its stricture is not a severe disease such as cancer. To maintain the dilation after the balloon method, the physician might place the stent to keep it enlarged and not return as it was. 

Tissue Sampling

ERCP is a well-known tool to perform tissue sampling. To take the samples of tissue from pancreatic or bile ducts and papilla, ERCP is the common choice of tool to use. Although ERCP can take the sample of tissue in the narrowed area to check if it is cancer. If the sample from the ERCP method turns out to be positive, it is an accurate result. However, if it turns out to be negative, the result might inaccurate. 

Sphincterotomy

ERCP takes an important role to perform sphincterotomy. First, the physician will cut the muscle around the opening papilla or ducts. This cut will make it easier to widen the opening and it happens at the same time as the ERCP proceed. There is no need to worry about the pain from cutting because the cut is performed by a special medical electric wire. Plus, the area around there has no nerve endings and the cut is quite small, only half of an inch. The treatment after this state is up to the disease that patient needs to cure, it can be cut directly toward both bile ducts and pancreatic ducts to perform the next treatment. 

Stent Placement

ERCP is a helpful tool to perform stent placement as a treatment for bile ducts or pancreatic ducts. The stent will make a bypass in the area of the narrowed place and prevent it from stricture. The tumours or the scars of tissue in bile or pancreatic ducts can lead to the narrowed or blockage of the duct, which causes the drainage problem afterwards. For the stent, there are 2 types of it which are plastic and metal wires. The purpose of each is different depending on the treatment session. 

Stone Removal

ERCP is also a common and useful tool for stone removal from the bile or pancreatic ducts of the patient. The occurrence of these stones in the gallbladder and moving to the duct or forming in the duct itself after the removal of the gallbladder of the patient. The stone removal performs together with sphincterotomy, to enlarge the opening enough to use ERCP and the basket for removing the stone through the sphincterotomy. 


ERCP Benefits

The patients might wonder about the benefits of using ERCP instead of other medical treatments. The following lists are the advantage of ERCP. 


ERCP Risks and Side Effects

ercp-risks

 

Although ERCP is quite useful and commonly used for treatment, there are still risks or side effects after performing the procedure. 


Preparing for ERCP

To prepare themself for the ERCP procedure, patients can follow these steps.

  1. Patients should consult with their physicians about their congenital disease as the first step. Blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or else the thing that physicians have to concern about before beginning the treatment. 
  2. Patients must inform the condition of their health to the physicians about their allergic.
  3. If patients take the medication in the thrombolytic group, both physicians will have to talk with each other before ERCP about the prescription, to prevent the risk that will come after.
  4. Patients should refrain from eating anything before the procedure for around 6-8 hours. 
  5. If patients wear partial or full dentures and have any problem with their teeth; or rocking teeth or else, they should inform the physician before ERCP to prevent the fall of teeth. 
  6. Patients should bring their family or relative together, in case the physician has any concern or need consent to examine more directly. 

ERCP Process

Even though the ERCP is quite a well-known medical tool that used endoscopes with X-rays but there are still some patients who might curious about the all procedure steps of ERCP. 

  1. Patients will be inserted by the endoscope passing through their throats. To reach the bile duct and the small intestine in ERCP, it will have to pass through the stomach. 
  2. The bile duct of patients will be injected with the contrast agent which gives clear vision for x-ray, ERCP helps to spot the abnormalities in the bile and pancreatic ducts.
  3. If there is a gallstone occurs in the bile ducts of the patient, electrocautery might be used for removing it while ERCP.
  4. For normal ERCP surgery, the wound will heal within a week. If there is constriction, the physician will insert a tube for draining the bile into your intestine. 

After ERCP Treatment

After receiving the ERCP surgery, there are some side effects that need to pay attention to treat it properly. 


How long is ERCP procedure recovery time?

Actually, ERCP takes around a week to recover after proceeding with the procedure. 


ERCP Conclusion

ERCP is one of the common and well-known medical methods to detect or examine the condition of bile or pancreatic ducts, including a fibrosis checkup on the liver. However, there is still something that patients need to be concerned about before receiving ERCP such as their congenital disease or their allergy. There are some side effects and risks but it is still the medical tool to perform stone removal and other surgery.


 


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