Discharge Instructions for ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)

You had a procedure known as an ERCP. Your health care provider performed the ERCP to look at your bile or pancreatic ducts, and to locate and treat blockages in the ducts. This procedure is used to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, bile ducts, and pancreatic duct, liver, and gallbladder. Here’s what you need to do following your ERCP.

Home care

  • Don’t take aspirin or any other blood-thinning medicines (anticoagulants) until your health care provider says it’s OK.

  • Your health care provider may prescribe an antibiotic, depending on what was done during the ERCP.

  • You may have a sore throat for 1 to 2 days after the procedure. Use lozenges or gargle with salt water for your sore throat. If you're not better in a few days, call your health care provider.

  • Rest, drink fluids, and eat light meals. If you feel bloated or have too much gas, use a heating pad on your belly to help reduce the discomfort. This should help you feel better. But if it doesn't, call your health care provider.

  • Don’t drink alcohol for 2 days after the procedure.

  • Follow your health care provider's advice about when to return to your normal routine.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

When to seek medical care

Call your health care provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Black or tarry stools

  • Chest pain or severe belly or abdominal pain

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your health care provider

  • Trouble swallowing or throat pain that gets worse 

  • Upset stomach (nausea) and vomiting

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