Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography


Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (Discharge Care) Care Guide

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is both a test and a way to treat some conditions. During an ERCP, a thin tube with a tiny light and camera near the end, is put in your mouth. It goes down your throat and into your esophagus (swallowing tube). Then the tube goes into your stomach and through your stomach to your small intestine. A smaller tube can go inside the tube you swallowed. This even tinier tube can go into the narrow areas your caregiver wants to examine or work on.

ERCP as a test:

ERCP is a test that may be used to:

  • See several areas of your digestive system. Sometimes all a caregiver needs to do is to see the area to know what is causing your belly problem.

  • Inject a dye to take pictures.

  • Take a small piece of tissue for a biopsy.

  • Measure pressures in the ducts (little tubes used to move digestive juices).

ERCP as a treatment:

ERCP is a treatment that may be used to:

  • Place a stent. A stent is a plastic or metal object that is used to keep a duct open.

  • Make an opening so a digestive juice will flow evenly from a duct.

  • Break and remove small stones that may be clogging ducts.


Take your medicine as directed.

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Medical Appointments:

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.


  • Eat healthy foods. Ask your caregiver which foods you should avoid. Your caregiver can also tell you which foods will make you feel better. Eating healthy foods may help you feel better and have more energy. They may also help you heal faster.

  • Drinking liquids: Adults should drink about 9 to 13 cups of liquid each day. One cup is 8 ounces. Good choices of liquids for most people include water, juice, and milk. Coffee, soup, and fruit may be counted in your daily liquid amount. Ask your caregiver how much liquid you should drink each day.


  • You lose your appetite, your skin feels itchy, and your skin turns yellow.

  • You have black, sticky stools.


  • You have a fever.

  • You have chills, a fast heartbeat or are feeling sick to your stomach or throwing up.

  • You are too dizzy to stand up.

  • You are bleeding from the rectum.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.