endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)


A procedure that uses an endoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and lens) to examine and x-ray the gallbladder, pancreas, liver and the ducts (tubes) connected to these organs (bile duct and pancreatic duct).

The endoscope is passed through the mouth, esophagus and stomach and into the small intestine. A smaller tube is then inserted through the endoscope into the bile and pancreatic ducts. A contrast medium is injected into the ducts to make them show up clearly on an x-ray.