ERCP, is a specialised technique used to study the ducts or drainage tubes of the gallbladder, pancreas and liver.
During the procedure an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube) will be passed through your mouth, into the oesophagus and stomach and then into the first part of the small intestine. This is the area of the bowel where the drainage tubes (bile duct and pancreatic duct) connect onto the bowel.
A small plastic instrument will then be placed through the endoscope and passed into the bile duct and/ or the pancreatic duct and x-ray dye is injected in order to obtain a picture of these ducts. Sometimes a small cut is made into the muscle surrounding the opening to the bile duct (sphincterotomy) in order to allow better drainage of the bile duct or to perform other procedures eg: remove stones, biopsy, place stents (drainage tubes) or stretch narrowing of the bile duct.