ERCP Procedure in North Houston

What is ERCP testing?

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP for short, is a digestive disease test that is used to diagnose a wide range of digestive disorders, including those that affect the gallbladder, pancreas, liver, and biliary system. It allows a digestive disease doctor to see the way your digestive fluid moves through your system and into your intestines. The ERCP procedure is also sometimes used to help gastroenterologists monitor or treat existing digestive issues. At Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston, we specialize in diagnostic procedures like ERCP to accurately determine what is causing your digestive discomfort or pain so you can begin treatment.

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Why is ERCP used?

ERCP testing might be recommended to help your GI doctor to rule out, diagnose, monitor, or treat one of the following digestive health problems:

What does ERCP involve?

ERCP Testing in Houston

When the ERCP test is used to diagnose a digestive disease, your gastroenterologist will use the endoscope, which is a small, flexible tube with a camera at the end, to examine the inside of your digestive tract. Your doctor also uses a contrasting agent that helps create a sharp image. This gives your GI physician the ability to see exactly how your digestive system is working and any malfunctions or irregularities that occur. Following the procedure, your doctor should know with more confidence what is causing your digestive problems.

ERCP Treatment in Houston

Once your doctor has found what is causing your digestive issue, ERCP surgery can be used to treat the issue as well. One of the following can be done during your ERCP procedure digestive dysfunction:

  • Gallstone removal from bile duct
  • Sphincterotomy to widen the bile duct and allow fluid flow
  • Stent placement for proper drainage through the bile duct

What are the benefits of undergoing ERCP at Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston?

Our team of providers is dedicated to offering personalized treatment options for our patients around the Houston area. Visiting our specialists for your digestive care and for ERCP testing can offer you the following benefits:

  • Quick procedure
  • Comfortable, caring environment
  • Detects a wide range of digestive problems
  • Minimally invasive
  • Little or no downtime

Preparing for an ERCP

Your stomach will need to be empty for the procedure, so you cannot have anything to eat or drink for 6 to 8 hours before the procedure – your gastroenterology team will tell you how long to fast. Do not chew gum or smoke during this fasting period.

Arrange to have a driver take you home after your ERCP. Your driver will need to remain at the medical facility throughout the entire procedure.

Leave all jewelry and personal items at home. Do not wear contact lenses. If you wear jewelry or contacts to the procedure, you will need to remove them prior to undergoing ERCP.

Speak with your doctor about all medications you take, including herbal supplements and over-the-counter drugs. Your doctor may ask you to stop certain medications before your procedure. Do not stop taking any medications unless instructed to do so.

Recovery from ERCP

You will remain at the outpatient clinic for 1 to 2 hours after the procedure to allow the anesthesia and sedation to wear off. Your medical team will monitor your vitals and overall condition throughout the recovery period. It is important that you rest at home for the remainder of the day to give your body time to recover.

You may feel some nausea or bloating for a short time after ERCP. This is normal and should go away on its own.

The pressure of the scope may cause a sore throat that lasts for a day or two following the procedure. Most people can drink clear liquids shortly after their ERCP. You can return to your regular diet as soon as your swallowing returns to normal.

The doctor performing the ERCP may be able to tell you the results immediately after your ERCP, although the ordering physician will give you the complete findings. In some cases, the doctor performing the procedure will take a biopsy, or a small bit of tissue to send to the laboratory for testing. The results of the biopsy are usually available several days after the procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions about ERCP

What organs can a doctor examine with ERCP?

A doctor uses ERCP to examine the duodenum, which is the first portion of the small intestine, the gallbladder that stores bile, and bile ducts that deliver bile from the gallbladder to the stomach, and the pancreatic duct that carries enzymes from the pancreas to the small intestine. ECRP can help doctors see other organs that are often difficult to visualize, such as the papilla of Vater, which is small with openings that lead to the bile ducts and the pancreatic duct.

What conditions do doctors use ERCP to diagnose?

Doctors use ERCP to diagnose a number of conditions, such as:

  • acute or chronic pancreatitis, a condition that develops when digestive juices attack the pancreas to cause swelling
  • gallstones that develop in a person’s gallbladder and become lodged in their common bile duct
  • infection
  • trauma or surgical complications affecting your bile ducts or pancreatic ducts
  • cancers or other tumors of the bile ducts or pancreas
  • pancreatic pseudocysts, which develop when leaked pancreatic fluids form next to the pancreas during pancreatitis

Where can I learn more about ERCP?

To learn more about ERCP, contact the healthcare professionals at Allied Digestive Disease Center. Our staff of medical professionals can help you get the information you need about this important procedure.

Make An Appointment

If you are suffering from a digestive issue, visit Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston. Our team strives to provide excellence in gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition services for patients in North Houston and the surrounding areas. We believe quality care begins with a patient-centered approach to diagnosing and treating both minor and chronic GI conditions. Schedule an appointment at our practice today by calling 832.912.4481 or fill out the form on this page.

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