ERCP

Under sedation, a side viewing endoscope (a flexible tube with a light and camera) is passed to the duodenum where the bile duct and pancreatic duct exit into the small intestine at the major papilla. Using fluoroscopy (X-ray guidance) we are able to pass a catheter into the bile duct where it can be used to remove stones from the bile duct (usually that have fallen down from the gallbladder), take samples, perform dilations of strictures, or place stents (thin plastic tubes that are temporarily left in place to hold the bile duct open). This procedure is done in a hospital setting (as an inpatient or outpatient) with deep sedation.