An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is an outpatient procedure performed at a hospital endoscopy unit that is used to diagnose and treat diseases or conditions of the bile ducts and sometimes the pancreatic duct.  After a patient is sedated, a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end (an endoscope) is placed in the mouth and carefully advanced down to the top of the small intestine.  A catheter is used to inject contrast dye into the appropriate ducts and imaging is performed with standard x-rays.   ERCP may be performed for a variety of reasons such as gallstones in the bile duct, bile duct injury after gallbladder surgery, or bile duct obstruction. 

For more general information about ERCP here.

For specific instructions about preparation for ERCP, read our instructions here.