ERCP is a procedure that enables your physician to examine the pancreatic and bile ducts. A bendable, lighted tube (endoscope) about the thickness of your index finger is placed through your mouth and into your stomach and first part of the small intestine (duodenum). In the duodenum a small opening is identified (ampulla) and a small plastic tube (cannula) is passed through the endoscope and into this opening. Dye (contrast material) is injected and X-rays are taken to study the ducts of the pancreas and liver.
Patients may be referred to surgeons because of an undiagnosed abdominal problem. Your surgeon may recommend a diagnostic laparoscopy to assess abdominal pain, abdominal masses, ascites, liver disease, or cancer staging.
Colonoscopy is a procedure that enables your surgeon to examine the lining of the colon and rectum. It is usually done in the hospital or an endoscopic procedure room on an outpatient basis. A soft, bendable tube about the thickness of the index finger is gently inserted into the anus and advanced into the rectum and the colon.