ERCP Specialist

Colorado Gastroenterology -  - Gastroenterologist

Colorado Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologists located in Denver, CO & Aurora, CO

If you experience unexplained sickness or pain related to your digestive system, it’s possible you have a duct obstruction. If so, the medical experts at Colorado Gastroenterology can locate and remove the obstruction with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Schedule an evaluation at the Denver, or Aurora location by calling.


What is ERCP?

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a test to examine the pancreatic and bile ducts. Bile ducts transfer bile from the liver to the gallbladder, and pancreatic ducts carry fluids from the pancreas to the small intestine. Your doctor locates the small opening, called an ampulla, passes a catheter through the opening, and injects a dye. Then, they take X-rays of the ducts.

What can I expect during ERCP?

ERCP at Colorado Gastroenterology is usually an outpatient procedure. You’re conscious but sedated during the procedure, so you may feel sensations from the instrument entering your body, but many people fall asleep through the exam.

After administering a local anesthetic, your doctor inserts the endoscope as you lie on your belly on the procedure table. Then, they perform the procedure while monitoring images from the camera on a computer screen.

After finishing the procedure, your doctor removes the endoscope and monitors your condition as the sedative wears off. They may discuss some of the results of the ERCP, but biopsies require a few days for processing.

You should be able to eat normally and return home afterward to rest with a pre-chosen driver.

When is an ERCP recommended?

Your Colorado Gastroenterology doctor uses ERCP to identify conditions that affect the pancreas or bile ducts. The following situations may warrant an ERCP.

  • A scan shows stones or growths in the pancreas or bile ducts
  • You have unexplained abdominal pain
  • You experience unintentional weight loss
  • Your skin appears jaundiced, or yellow

If your doctor suspects your symptoms might be related to the pancreas, gallbladder, or bile ducts, they may request an ERCP.

What conditions can ERCP diagnose and treat?

ERCP may be used alone as a diagnostic or treatment tool or as a tool to guide gallbladder surgery. Your Colorado Gastroenterology specialist may use ERCP to treat and diagnose any condition that narrows, inflames, or blocks the ducts, such as:

  • Gallstones, bile duct stones, or pancreatic stones
  • Tumors or growths
  • Pancreatitis
  • Infection
  • Trauma or injury

During the ERCP procedure, if your doctor discovers stones or growths, they may remove them.

If you need to schedule an ERCP, contact Colorado Gastroenterology over the phone.

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