Submitting Request...

Procedure - Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

To fully understand how the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are functioning, it is important for your doctor to know how the ducts that drain these organs are working. For this reason, the specialists at Ogden Clinic in Utah will use an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to diagnose any conditions of the ducts, pancreas, or liver.

Some common reasons your Ogden Clinic doctor will perform an ERCP is to:

  • Measure the pressure inside of your bile ducts, also known as manometry
  • Take a sample of tissue to biopsy
  • Open a narrowed duct
  • Insert a drain into a duct
  • Diagnose the cause of jaundice or chronic belly pain
  • Locate gallstones/remove them from the common bile duct
  • Determine diseases or infections of the pancreas, ducts, or liver

How It Works

Generally an Ogden Clinic gastroenterologist will perform your ERCP procedure. For this test, your throat will be numbed with a local anesthetic and you will also likely receive a sedative and medication though an IV. Your doctor will then insert an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with an attached camera) down your throat and into the small intestine. Once positioned, a catheter is inserted into the endoscope which will release dye into the bile and pancreatic ducts. The dye creates a contrast that allows your doctor to more clearly see any problems on your X-rays.

During the ERCP procedure, you doctor may insert other small tools through the endoscope if he or she needs to remove a small tissue sample for biopsy, remove a small gallstone from the ducts, or place a stent. Once the test is complete, your doctor will slowly remove the endoscope and you will be taken to a recovery room. You will not be able to drive following the procedure and will have to wait 24 hours before returning to work. For those who have a gallstone removed, you may be kept in the hospital overnight for observation. Following the procedure, you may experience some gas, bloating, cramping, nausea, and a sore throat. These are normal symptoms following an ERCP, but if they do not subside within a few days you should contact your doctor right away.

Have you been experiencing ongoing belly pain? Are you concerned you might have a gallstone? If so, it’s time to contact a gastroenterologist at Ogden Clinic in Utah about an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) test.


Vandersteen, Joshua, DO
6028 S. Ridgeline Drive
Ogden, UT
801-475-3380

Ziegler, Robert, MD
1159 East 12th Street
Ogden, UT
801-475-3700