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Pre-Operative preparation:
As for general anaesthetic.  In addition it is likely that you will require antibiotics to cover the operation and blood tests to check clotting will be required.


A fibre optic endoscope is passed through the mouth into the stomach and then duodenum where the entrance of the common bile duct is identified (the ampulla). A fine tube is passed into this and radioopaque contrast introduced; at this point x-rays are taken to determine whether there are any stones in the bile duct.  This is a diagnostic ERCP

If there are stones a cut is made at the ampulla to widen the exit of the bile duct and allow passage of the stones.  The passage of stones can be eased by passing a balloon into the bile duct and “trawling” for stones.  ERCP can also be used to insert a stent beyond narrowed areas in the common bile duct. These procedures are termed therapeutic ERCP's

Usually performed with intravenous sedation.

Post Operative Care:
Patients are generally kept in hospital overnight following an ERCP. It is not un common to experience some discomfort due to the procedure. Rarely there are problems with bleeding and there is a risk of pancreatitis.

OPC Codes:
J4300 Diagnostic ERCP
J3900 Therapeutic ERCP


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