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ERCP Services in Concord, NC

What is ERCP?

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is an endoscopic procedure that examines the bile ducts, pancreas, and gallbladder. ERCP is performed using an endoscope (a long, flexible, lighted tube) and fluoroscopy (a type of real-time X-ray).

When is ERCP Needed?

Doctors often recommend endoscopy to evaluate:

Endoscopy can also be used to take a biopsy or to help treat some digestive conditions. In the colon, polyps can be removed through the endoscope to help prevent colon cancer.

What to Expect

To begin, patients receive a local anesthetic, either gargled or sprayed on the back of the throat. A needle is then inserted into a vein in the arm if sedatives will be given. Doctors and other medical staff monitor vital signs while patients are sedated.

During ERCP, you may be instructed to lie on your back or side. Your digestive health provider inserts an endoscope down the esophagus, through the stomach, and into the duodenum. Video is transmitted from a small camera attached to the endoscope. A tube (catheter) is then slid through the endoscopy and guided through the papillary opening. Your doctor will inject a dye into the ducts that allows them to be seen with an x-ray, so your provider can identify any narrowed areas or blockages.

How to Prepare for ERCP in NC

ERCP does not require any special preparation, but you will need to fast for at least six hours before the procedure. Your gastroentorologist in Concord will likely tell you to avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight on the night before your procedure. You may be asked to stop taking certain medications before the procedure as well. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

View complete ERCP prep instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does an ERCP take?

The procedure takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. After the procedure, patients are taken to a recovery room where they will be monitored for any complications. Most people can go home the same day.

Is there any risk or complication?

As with any medical procedure, there are some risks associated with ERCP. These may include:

Perforation (tearing) of the bile duct, pancreas, or intestine
Allergic reaction to the dye or sedatives used
Breathing problems due to sedation

ERCP is generally a safe procedure, but as with any medical procedure, there are some risks involved. Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

Should I bring something to the procedure?

You will need to bring a driver with you to the procedure as sedation will be used during the procedure. You will also want to wear comfortable clothing as you will be lying down for the procedure.
You should also bring any important medical information with you, such as a list of medications you are taking, your insurance card, and a photo ID.

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Contact Info

Northeast Digestive Health Center
1070 Vinehaven Drive NE
Concord, North Carolina 28025
Phone: (704)783-1840
Fax: (704)783-1850
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