Frequently Asked Questions
What is ERCP?
ERCP is abbreviated form of Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography. ERCP is a medical diagnostic procedure used to examine the liver along with pancreatic and bile ducts by passing an endoscope into the stomach and duodenum through the mouth. This procedure helps to find out any abnormalities in both bile and pancreatic ducts. ERCP combines endoscopy and X-ray examination.
What are the advantages of ERCP?
Some advantages of ERCP are:
- Better visualizing the pancreatic and bile ducts
- Removes the obstruction to the bile ducts
- Can diagnose and treat complications of Gall bladder surgery
- Plays a therapeutic role in the management of chronic pancreatitis
- Identifies abnormalities of both bile and pancreatic ducts
- Used to locate the stones in the pancreatic and bile ducts
What are the indications of ERCP?
ERCP is indicated in the following conditions:
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Gallstones in bile and pancreatic ducts
- Liver abnormalities
- Persistent pain in the abdomen
- Pancreatic cancer
- Acute pancreatitis [Inflammation of the pancreas]
What is the preparation for ERCP?
- Should avoid taking some medication such as blood thinners like warfarin, heparin, and NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and diclofenac.
- Discuss all the risks, complications, and benefits of ERCP with the doctor.
- The patient should discuss with the doctor regarding any medication allergies or allergic to contrast dye or iodine.
- The patient should inform the doctor about past and present medical and medication history.
What are the steps involved in ERCP?
The steps involved in ERCP are as follows:
- Before the ERCP, the patient is moderately sedated using anesthesia.
- The endoscope or tube is inserted through the mouth into the duodenum where the bile and pancreatic ducts enter [papilla].
- Now, a thin tube or catheter is passed through the endoscope to enter the ducts.
- Through this thin tube, contrast dyes are injected into the ducts which will enable the ducts to viewed on X-ray images.
- The catheter and the endoscope will be removed from the stomach.
- The X-ray images will be reviewed by the doctor to determine the problem.
- If the ducts are narrowed or blocked, a small balloon at the end of the diagnostic catheter will be inflated and to widen the narrowed ducts or removes the blockage.
What is the recovery care for ERCP?
- After the procedure, the patient will be transferred to the recovery room.
- The patient may feel mild discomfort or sore throat due to the insertion of an endoscope through the mouth.
- Vital signs of the patient will be monitored by the doctor.
- If there is a pain at the site of examination even after the procedure, inform the doctor immediately.
Who can perform ERCP [Right specialist type for ERCP]?
ERCP can be performed by:
- Gastroenterologist [Proctologist].
- Experienced doctors in performing several successful ERCP.
What is the cost of ERCP?
Cost of ERCP depends on factors such as:
- Admission fee
- Doctor fee
- Age of the patient
- The medical condition of the patient
- Post-surgical complications that are involved
- Type of hospital
- The admission room that you opted for
- Any other lab tests or examination tests such as X-ray, ECG, etc
Minimum cost of ERCP in Bangalore starts from Rs.11,000
Average expenses of ERCP in Bangalore is approximately Rs.33,000
Maximum amount of ERCP to be paid in Bangalore rises to Rs.80,000
Is ERCP a major procedure or minor procedure?
ERCP is considered as a minor procedure.
What is the eligibility criteria for ERCP?
People who can undergo ERCP are:
- Individuals above 18 years old with abnormalities in the pancreatic and bile ducts.
- People who are not diagnosed or without a known cause for abdominal pain.
- People with obstruction in either pancreatic or bile ducts.
What is the ineligibility criteria for ERCP?
People who cannot undergo ERCP are:
- Individuals who are on medications like blood thinners and NSAIDs.
- People who are allergic to contrast dyes.
- Patients who underwent recent intestinal surgery.
- Patients who are already diagnosed or with a known cause for abdominal pain.
What are the risks and complications associated with ERCP?
Risks and complications associated with ERCP are:
- Tear or hole in the esophagus
- Inflammation in the pancreas
How long does it take to complete ERCP?
30-90 minutes may be required for the doctor to complete the ERCP procedure.
What is the recovery time?
The individual who undergoes any ERCP recovers within 1-2 hours.
What is the success rate of ERCP?
The success rate of ERCP depends on the following factors:
- Age of the patient
- The severity of the disease condition
- The area to be examined
- Experience of the doctor
The success rate of ERCP may range between 87.5% to 95%.
Is ERCP painful?
During ERCP, the patient will be sedated using anesthesia and thus he/she will not be experiencing any pain. However, after completion of the procedure, the patient may experience mild pain or discomfort.
Is ERCP permanent?
ERCP is not a permanent procedure as the doctor removes the tube from the stomach after completion of the examination of both bile and pancreatic ducts.
What are the options if ERCP fails or not successful?
If ERCP fails, then the doctor may recommend a revision procedure or open surgery.