ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) is a procedure that allows your physician to diagnose diseases of the bile ducts and pancreas. The instrument used is a thin flexible tube that is swallowed and travels the same path as when you swallow food. The procedure is performed in the radiology department with the use of fluoroscopy (x-rays).
The benefits of the procedure is the ability to remove gallstones from the bile ducts, place stents in the bile ducts to relieve blockage, and to diagnose cancers of the bile ducts or pancreas. These procedures often prevent the need for more invasive surgery.
There are RISKS to this procedure, although it is being recommended because it is felt that the benefits outweigh the risks.
There is a risk of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). This occurs approximately 5% of the time (1 out of 20). It is usually mild, requiring hospitalization for 24-48 hours. However, it can rarely be severe and can be life-threatening.
Bleeding can occur, but, is most often taken care of at the time of the procedure, and would rarely be severe enough to require transfusion.
Perforation of the bowel wall is possible but very uncommon.
The medications (Versed and Fentanyl) that are given to prevent pain and discomfort are very safe. They can cause an adverse reaction is such as severe allergic reactions, redness, and swelling of the arm, suppression of breathing, or cardiac arrhythmias. There is no guarantee that you will be free from pain during the procedure.
Contrast dye is also used during the procedure, and life-threatening allergic reactions can occur. NOTIFY YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO IODINE OR SHELLFISH.
Serious heart and lung abnormalities may also occur. Although rare there is a remote risk of heart attack or stroke.
The alternatives to ERCP are limited. The doctor has probably already ordered less invasive imaging studies such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. These findings from these studies are often the reason that the ERCP is being recommended.
HAVING READ AND UNDERSTOOD THE ABOVE, I FEEL THAT THE BENEFITS OF THIS PROCEDURE OUTWEIGH THE RISKS. I HAVE DISCUSSED THE RISKS, ALTERNATIVES, AND HAVE BEEN GIVEN AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO ASK QUESTIONS.
DISCLAIMER: By typing your name below, you are signing this application electronically. You agree that your electronic signature is the legal equivalent of your manual signature on this application.
Your information will be encrypted.
Your browser does not support capabilities required for electronic signatures.