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Animation - Understanding ERCP
This animation describes Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), which is an endoscopic procedure used to examine and treat a specific finding within either the pancreatic duct or biliary tree (bile duct). This procedure helps your doctor make critical decisions concerning your health.

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Expert Video - What is endoscopy?
In this video, physicians explain that endoscopy is a medical procedure that uses an instrument called an endoscope to examine an area of the body, such as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. They describe the different types of endoscopic procedures that may be used, depending on what is being examined: upper endoscopy (esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD), push enteroscopy, deep endoscopy, and also advanced endoscopic procedures such as Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
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Expert Video - What is ERCP?
Expert physicians discuss Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), which is an upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopic procedure used to treat problems of the pancreatic or bile duct. The physicians emphasize that ERCP is used for therapeutic purposes, such as removing stones, placing stents, bypassing obstructions, and more. ERCP helps your doctor make critical decisions concerning your health.
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Expert Video - When is ERCP used?
Physicians discuss how ERCP is used as a therapeutic procedure when patient complaints or laboratory findings indicate problems in the bile and pancreatic duct. It is commonly used to bypass obstructions or remove stones, but is also used to remove or treat tumors, infections, inflammation, scarring, fluid or tissue debris. ERCP is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, but can also be performed when the patient is in the hospital for an emergency problem, for example in cases of cholangitis or gallstone pancreatitits.
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Expert Video - How should patients prepare for an ERCP?
Pancreatic disease specialists discuss how patients should best prepare for an ERCP procedure and what to expect, including no eating or drinking before ERCP, a thorough understanding of the patient’s medical history, and restriction of certain medications. This will be determined by your doctor. They emphasize the importance of communication between the patient, specialist and primary care provider as part of the preparation plan, so that everybody involved has complete understanding of what is expected going into the procedure.
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Expert Video - What follow-up care is required after an ERCP?
Physicians discuss the specific details and type of follow-up care that is required after an ERCP procedure, in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. They discuss potential problems to look out for after and ERCP, and the importance of follow-up communication with your doctor.
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Expert Video - How is an ERCP performed?
Physicians describe how the ERCP procedure is performed and the various steps involved, including the scope, camera, x-ray as well as the devices and tools used to examine and treat the pancreatic or bile duct problem. They emphasize that ERCP is an advanced endoscopic procedure that should be performed by well-trained and experienced physicians. They encourage patients to ask their doctor about how much experience they have had performing ERCP.
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Expert Video - What are the risks of ERCP?
Pancreatic disease specialists talk about how ERCP is more invasive than routine endoscopic procedures, and that ERCP carries risks of complications, depending on individual patient factors. They discuss risks such as inflammation or pancreatitis, bleeding, infection, perforation. They also describe the techniques they use to minimize these risks.
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Expert Video - What are the benefits of ERCP?
Physicians discuss the benefits of ERCP and what patients can expect depending on individual patient factors. ERCP can either completely solve a patient's pancreatic problem and alleviate symptoms (such as pain, obstructions, stones and more), or ERCP can indicate the need for further therapeutic interventions. Importantly, ERCP can reduce the risk of other and more serious complications down the line.
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Slide Show - Understanding ERCP
This slide show describes Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), which is an endoscopic procedure used to examine and treat a specific finding within either the pancreatic duct or biliary tree (bile duct). This procedure helps your doctor make critical decisions concerning your health.
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This educational activity has been developed by: The National Pancreas Foundation and Mechanisms in Medicine Inc.

This educational activity is supported by:

This website is part of the Animated Patient™ series that provides highly visual formats of learning for patients to improve their understanding, make informed decisions, and partner with their health care professionals for optimal outcomes.