Home ERCP What should you expect in the ERCP room?
What should you expect in the ERCP room?

You will be taken into a special room that has an x-ray machine. You will lie down on a padded table and be covered with a sheet.  Local anesthetic medicine will be sprayed onto the back of your throat, to make it numb.  A plastic guard will be placed in your mouth to protect your teeth.  Small monitoring devices will be placed on your skin so that the nurse can measure your pulse, blood pressure and blood oxygen as necessary during ERCP.


When you are sleepy, the doctor will place the thin flexible tube (endoscope) through the mouth guard.  When you swallow, the doctor will gently move the endoscope down the esophagus.  The doctor can see with a small video camera on the end of the endoscope.  The endoscope will not interfere with your breathing.  You will not feel the doctor doing the diagnostic maneuvers and any treatments.  The contrast dye which is injected will pass out of your body naturally. The ERCP procedure takes between 30 and 90 minutes.


After ERCP you will be sleepy for up to a few hours and will not be able to eat or drink during that time.  The doctor will discuss the results of the ERCP with you or the family member accompanying you (since your memory may be dulled by the medicines).  You will need to be driven home.  Once home, you should rest quietly until the next day, having only  very light meals with plenty of fluids.  You will probably feel slightly bloated (because of the air inserted into your stomach during the examination).  This is normal and will pass spontaneously.  Your throat may be slightly sore for a day or two.


Call your doctor if you have concerns about your progress during the next few days especially if you have severe pain, vomiting, passage or vomiting of blood, or fever above 101 degrees or chills.


If the ERCP involved treatment or was difficult, you may be admitted to the hospital overnight.  The IV fluids will be continued.