The diagnostic capability of ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) is described in the section on the Center for Pancreatic and Biliary Disease. In addition to its diagnostic importance, ERCP can also be used to treat certain conditions immediately. These treatments, however, require the experience of experts in this procedure. Georgetown GI specializes in the use of ERCP, both for diagnosis and treatment.
During the ERCP, if a blockage is found in any of the ducts, the physician may be able to use one of the following tools to remove or relieve the obstruction:
- Sphincterotomy, cutting the muscle sphincter of the bile or pancreatic duct, allowing the physician to remove stones.
- Duct dilation and stenting, during which the physician uses a balloon catheter to stretch a narrowed opening. Stents are then often placed in the opening to maintain the stretch.