An ERCP, or Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography, is a procedure that allows physicians like Eric Hesch to examine the gallbladder, bile, and pancreatic ducts. This is done using a bendable, lighted tube, called an endoscope, that is placed into the mouth and then into the stomach and the first part of the small intestine or duodenum.
To prepare for an ERCP you should fast for around six hours (preferably overnight) before the procedure, to ensure your stomach is empty. Tell your doctor about any medications you are on or if you happen to have allergies to any medications or dye (the intravenous contrast material). Furthermore, tell your doctors if you have lung or heart conditions or any other major diseases that could complicate the procedure.
During the ERCP, the doctor might use a local anesthetic on the throat or give a sedative to make you feel comfortable. If the procedure is going to be lengthy or complex and anesthesiologist may be consulted to administer any sedation. While other patients will receive antibiotics for the procedure. The endoscope is inserted into the mouth but doesn’t interfere with breathing, however, you may feel bloated as air is used during the procedure.
Eric Hesch has performed the ERCP many times and notes that you can expect some bloating or pass gas due to the air use throughout the procedure. However, most of the effects of the medications will have worn off before you leave the hospital or doctor’s office. In fact, many people resume their normal diet the same day, unless instructed otherwise.
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