If you are experiencing persistent abdominal pain, your doctor may order an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP), a test that uses a flexible scope and X-ray images to examine the tubes that drain your gallbladder, liver and pancreas. “ERCP is a minimally invasive way to remove stones in the ducts of the liver and diagnose cancer in the early stages,” says Rafid J. Hussein, DO, gastroenterologist at Saint Francis Medical Center.
“In the old days,” Hussein continues, “doctors would have to make a big surgical incision and physically remove the stone. With ERCP, however, we put a thin tube called an endoscope into your mouth, insert instruments through the tube and remove the stone. The recovery time is much shorter than with traditional surgery.”
A doctor can also use the procedure to see if there is cancer in the bile, pancreatic or hepatic ducts.
For more information, call 573-331-3000.