Discharge Instructions for ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)

You had a procedure known as an ERCP. Your healthcare 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 after your ERCP.

Home care

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

  • Your healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare provider.

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

  • Don't drive for 24 hours after the procedure.

  • Follow your healthcare 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 call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of the following occur:

  • Black or tarry stools

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

  • Chills

  • Trouble swallowing or throat pain that gets worse 

  • Upset stomach (nausea) and vomiting

Call 911 if you have chest pain or severe belly pain

Online Medical Reviewer: Neil Grossman MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Tara Novick BSN MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2022
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