Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure that allows physicians to diagnose, evaluate and treat problems in your child's liver, gallbladder and pancreas, as well as the pipes (ducts) that drain these organs. The procedure combines x-ray and the use of an endoscope — a long, flexible tube with a light and tiny camera at the end.

After your child is sedated, the endoscope is guided through his or her mouth, esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first section of the small intestine). A gastroenterologist will identify where the bile and pancreatic duct come into the intestine and a tiny catheter will inject a contrast agent into the draining system while x-rays are taken. The contrast agent allows doctors to see the ducts. If problems are identified, doctors may be able to treat it immediately.

This test is performed in conjunction with our adult gastroenterology colleagues at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). Procedures are performed at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia by a pediatric gastroenterologist trained in advanced therapeutic endoscopy.