All You Need to Know about ERCP Procedure: From Preparation to Recovery
All You Need to Know about ERCP Procedure: From Preparation to Recovery

By Malla Reddy Narayana on 14 Mar, 2023

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What is ERCP?

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure used to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and bile ducts. ERCP is a minimally invasive procedure that uses an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, to examine the organs and bile ducts of the digestive system.

Who Needs ERCP?

ERCP is typically recommended for patients with certain medical conditions, such as:

– Bile Duct Stones: If a patient has a blockage in the bile duct due to gallstones or other obstructions, ERCP can be used to remove the stones.

– Jaundice: ERCP can be used to determine the cause of jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin and eyes due to a buildup of bilirubin in the blood.

– Pancreatitis: ERCP can help identify the cause of pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas.

– Bile Duct Cancer: ERCP can be used to diagnose and treat bile duct cancer.

– Cholangitis: ERCP can be used to diagnose and treat cholangitis, which is an infection of the bile ducts.

How ERCP Can Benefit in the Long Term?

ERCP can offer several long-term benefits to patients, including:

Improved Quality of Life: Patients who undergo ERCP and have their medical conditions successfully treated often experience an improvement in their quality of life. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting can be alleviated, allowing patients to resume normal activities.

Reduced Risk of Complications: If left untreated, conditions such as bile duct stones, bile duct cancer, and cholangitis can lead to serious complications. ERCP can help prevent these complications and reduce the risk of more severe medical conditions.

Improved Prognosis: Early diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions such as bile duct cancer can improve the patient’s prognosis and increase the chances of a successful outcome.

ERCP Procedure

The ERCP procedure involves several steps, including preparation, the actual procedure, and recovery.

Preparation for ERCP

Before undergoing the ERCP procedure, you will need to follow specific instructions from your doctor to prepare. These instructions may include fasting for several hours before the procedure, stopping certain medications, and arranging for transportation after the procedure.

During the Procedure

During the ERCP procedure, you will be sedated to help you relax and prevent discomfort. The gastroenterologist will insert the endoscope through your mouth and into your stomach and small intestine.

The endoscope has a light and camera attached to it, which allows the gastroenterologist to view the organs and ducts on a monitor. A contrast dye is injected into the ducts to help the gastroenterologist see them more clearly.

If a problem is identified, such as a blockage or narrowing of the bile duct, the gastroenterologist may perform a therapeutic procedure, such as stent insertion. This involves inserting a small tube into the duct to hold it open and allow bile to flow freely.

Recovery after ERCP

After the ERCP procedure, you will need to remain at the hospital for a short period of time for observation. You may experience some mild discomfort, bloating, or cramping, which should subside within a few hours. You should also avoid eating or drinking anything for several hours after the procedure, as directed by your doctor.
You may be advised to stay hospitalized until and unless you are deemed to be fit and healthy by the doctor.

Potential Complications of ERCP

Like any medical procedure, ERCP comes with potential risks and complications. Under the guidance of an expert gastroenterologist, the risks and complications can be kept to a minimum. However, it is also important to understand and know about the complications. The most common complication of ERCP is pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas. Other potential complications include bleeding, infection, and perforation of the digestive tract.

It is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to reduce the risk of complications. If you experience severe abdominal pain, fever, or other symptoms after the ERCP procedure, contact your doctor immediately.


If you have any concerns or questions about the ERCP procedure, speak with your doctor or gastroenterologist. They can provide you with more information about what to expect and help you prepare for the procedure to ensure the best possible outcome. At Malla Reddy Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Suraram, near Jeedimetla, Kompally in Hyderabad, we have performed more than 2000+ ERCP procedures under the expert supervision and guidance of leading gastroenterologists. Their expertise ensures the procedure is done safely with minimal risk of complications. We also offer the most affordable ERCP procedures in Telangana & AP. Book an appointment with us in case you experience any pain or identical symptoms mentioned for ERCP.


1) Is ERCP considered major surgery?
No, ERCP is not considered major surgery. It is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require any incisions. The patient is typically sedated, and the endoscope is inserted through the mouth into the digestive system to perform the procedure.

2) How long does an ERCP procedure take?
The ERCP procedure typically takes 30-90 minutes to perform, depending on the complexity of the case.

3) Is ERCP a painful procedure?
No, ERCP is not a painful procedure. Patients are typically sedated to prevent discomfort during the procedure. However, some patients may experience mild discomfort or bloating after the procedure.

4) Which is the best hospital for the ERCP procedure?
Malla Reddy Narayana Hospital, Suraram, near Kompally, Hyderabad is one of the best hospitals for ERCP procedures. The hospital has performed more than 2000+ successful ERCP procedures till date. The hospital also offers the most affordable and cost-effective ERCP procedure in Hyderabad.

5) What is the total cost of ERCP?
In India, the ERCP test typically costs around 48,000 rupees on average. At Malla Reddy Narayana Hospital, Suraram, near Jeedimetla, Kompally, Hyderabad is renowned for its expertise in performing the ERCP procedure at the most affordable price in the entire twin cities of Hyderabad.

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