Medical Definition of Gallstones and ERCP

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Gallstones and ERCP: ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) is a diagnostic procedure done to look for diseases of the bile ducts and pancreas. A flexible tube is put down the throat, through the stomach, and into the small intestine. The doctor can see through the tube and inject dye into the drainage tube (duct) of the pancreas or bile duct so that the area can be seen more clearly on an x-ray.

The ERCP test is comfortable as it is performed under intravenous sedation or with general anesthesia, and has a low incidence of complications.

ERCP can provide important information unobtainable by other diagnostic means. Therapeutic measures can often be taken at the time of ERCP to remove stones in the bile ducts or to relieve obstruction of the bile ducts, so that traditional open surgeries can be avoided.

ERCP is increasingly accepted as the diagnostic and therapeutic procedure of choice in identifying and removing gallstones from the bile ducts.

CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED ARTICLE
Reviewed on 10/30/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors