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Hudson County Gastroenterology

(201) 854-4646 

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What is an ERCP?

An ERCP is an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography. It helps the physician diagnose problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas. It combines x-rays with an endoscope.

Why is it Done?

ERCP helps diagnose and treat conditions of the bile ducts, including gallstones, inflammatory strictures or scars, leaks associated with trauma or surgery, and cancer.

How to Prepare?

You must inform your doctor:

  • If you are on Coumadin, Aspirin, Plavix, or other blood thinners.
  • If you might be pregnant.
  • If you have had a barium x-ray or CT scan in the past few days.

You also must stop taking anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn, etc.) for several days before the ERCP procedure.

If you are a diabetic, notify our office at (201) 898-2258 to discuss your morning diabetes medications. Check your glucose before leaving home and tell the result to the nurse when arriving at the endoscopy suite. Bring your glucose meter with you.

If your procedure is before noon, eat no solid food after midnight the previous night.

You may have clear liquids until four hours before the procedure, and then nothing at all by mouth.

Bring a driver or arrange transportation after your procedure. Driving is not permitted for at least 12 hours, due to drowsiness and delayed reflexes from the IV medication. You should not conduct any business or sign any legal documents that day.


How Does an ERCP Feel?

Discomfort might occur when the physician blows air into the duodenum and injects dye into the ducts. However, medicine should keep any discomfort to a minimum.

After the Test

Following the procedure, you will remain at the hospital for an hour or two as the sedatives wear off. The doctor will ensure you do not have signs of complications before leaving. If any treatment is done during ERCP, such as removing a gallstone, you may stay in the hospital overnight.