Diagnostics

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

We provide a private endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) service. This minimally invasive procedure enables your specialist to diagnose biliary and pancreatic disease safely and effectively.

 

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Procedure to investigate obstructions and diseases of the biliary system

Overview

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your gastroenterologist to diagnose biliary and pancreatic diseases.

If you have biliary disease you may develop symptoms that include sharp abdominal pain, nausea and yellowing of the skin (jaundice). 

This can be due to the formation of gallstones, tumours or scarring that causes a blockage in the bile ducts. 

An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedure can successfully diagnose biliary disease and conditions including: 

  • Stenosis (narrowing of the biliary sphincter stenosis, common bile duct or main pancreatic duct
  • Gallstones and inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis)
  • Causes of yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) due to a buildup of bilirubin
  • Causes of bile duct pain (biliary colic)

One of our highly trained specialists will carry out your procedure in our private, state-of-the-art endoscopy unit near Harley Street.

By choosing The London Clinic, you’ll get a more compassionate and connected kind of care, from enhanced pre-admission through to aftercare and follow up. 

Contact us today, so you can start your treatment journey and get back to the life you love. 

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Why choose The London Clinic

Excellence in one place

We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.

Personal care, every time

Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.

Effortlessly simple

We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

What's included in your package?

Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

 

Your treatment package will include:

  • Enhanced pre-admission assessment
  • Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
  • Personalised aftercare and follow-up

We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.

How to pay

  • You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
  • You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
  • If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis
     

FAQs

At The London Clinic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a same-day procedure that normally takes between thirty and sixty minutes while you are asleep and under pain relief.

Your gastroenterologist begins by gently placing a very thin, camera-tipped flexible tube, called an endoscope into the bile ducts (tubes) of your pancreas and gallbladder via your mouth.

First, your gastroenterologist inserts a tiny balloon into the opening of your common bile duct to widen it. They may need to make a tiny cut (sphincterotomy) to the muscle to ensure the camera can pass safely. 

They then squirt a tiny amount of dye through the endoscope so an image of the common duct (cholangiogram) and pancreas duct (pancreatogram) can be taken by X-ray.

The camera that is used to perform the ERCP also allows other procedures to take place if needed.

If stones are present your gastroenterologist can insert a tiny electrohydraulic lithotripsy (EHL) probe through the opening to painlessly break them up. They then carefully remove the fragments.

If there is narrowing (stenosis) then your consultant can place a thin tube (stent) to allow the bile and pancreatic juices to flow as normal.

Your specialist may take a tiny tissue sample (biopsy) for analysis which is completely painless.

After the procedure, your care team will take you to the recovery suite, so they can safely monitor you while you come round from the sedation. 

You may feel drowsy for up to twenty four hours after the procedure so you must not drive or operate machinery. 

One of your care team can arrange a taxi if you need transportation home.

The endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedure allows your gastroenterologist to diagnose bile duct disease safely and effectively.

It’s a minimally invasive procedure which can also allow the removal of blockages and allow the bile to flow more easily. 

If you have inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) or gallbladder (cholecystitis) it can help ease discomfort.

Because an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a minimally invasive procedure you should recover fairly quickly.  

Most people find they can eat normally and experience normal bowel movements soon after the procedure. 

Your care team will advise you if you need to follow a special diet or minimise particular foods like fats for a time. 

For the first twenty four hours you must not drive or operate machinery.

You should be able to go back to work and carry on with normal activities after a few days. 

The procedure under anaesthetic is fairly pain-free, but you may have a sore throat and slight abdominal cramping for a couple of days afterwards. 

Your care team will support you with painkillers and will be there to help after your procedure.

A small number of patients (one in fifty) can experience a reaction to the procedure. 

This can include inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and common bile duct (cholangitis).

Inflammation causes severe abdominal pain and if it happens you will need to contact your care team straight away.

If a cut is made to your sphincter (sphincterotomy) to widen it during the procedure, you have a slight chance of abnormal bleeding and infection. 

If you notice blood in your stool or develop a fever afterwards, you should let your care team know as soon as possible.

Your endoscopy care team at The London Clinic are highly trained and will work as one to ensure your procedure goes as smoothly as possible. 

At The London Clinic, the gastroenterologists who perform endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography are highly experienced, giving you the best outcome possible. 

During your same day procedure, your dedicated care team will look after you and make sure you have everything you need.

Your endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography procedure will take place in one of our private state-of-the-art endoscopy theatres near Harley Street.

To make you feel more comfortable while you’re with us, we offer extra touches like a concierge service.

Once you’re ready to leave The London Clinic, we’ll give you advice to follow to make sure you recover safely at home. 

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