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Clinical Services at Rush Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
Used with permission of Boston Scientific  
Used with permission of Boston Scientific 

What is an ERCP?
An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure that allows the physician to diagnose or treat problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas. These include conditions such as: tumors, pancreatitis, gallstones and cysts. An ERCP combines the use of x-rays and an endoscope to allow the physician to examine the area, take tissue samples, remove stones and insert stents.

An ERCP procedure consists of the physician passing an endoscope through your mouth, esophagus and stomach into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).  Your physician will then see the common opening to the biliary (liver) and pancreatic ducts. A catheter will then be passed through the endoscope and into the ducts. Dye will be injected, which will allow your physician to take x-rays and diagnose any problems.  

Rush University Medical Center was one of the first hospitals in the United States to utilize the SpyGlass procedure (introductal choledochoscopy), a form of ERCP. Compared to the traditional ERCP, Spyglass provides endoscopic imaging of all four quadrants of the biliary duct utilizing a 6,000 megapixel fiber optic probe.  Spyglass allows physicians to take a tissue sample with direct visualization which greatly improves the rate of diagnosis and reduces further testing and patient inconvenience. With the aid of ERCP and Spyglass, we have been able to visualize large complex stones and fragment them with hydraulic lithotripsy for removal, thereby avoiding surgery.

In select cases of interventional ERCP, innovative approaches using endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) techniques can be used to access the bile ducts. 

How do I prepare for an ERCP?

For more information about ERCP


Return to the Interventional Endoscopy home page

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Last updated 7/09





Contact Name
Interventional Endoscopy Program at Rush
Contact Phone
(888) 352-RUSH
Contact E-mail
contact_rush@rush.edu


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