Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure where a camera (endoscope) is inserted into the mouth and passed into the stomach and into the small intestine. From the intestine the drainage systems of the liver and pancreas can be accessed. ERCP can help with diagnosis of causes of liver disease and help with treatment of obstruction of the bile ducts. Samples can be taken from the bile ducts, and when necessary, stents can be placed in the drainage system of the liver. Plastic stents, which are removable, or permanent metal stents, can be placed into the bile ducts to relieve obstruction.
Plastic and metal stents can be placed in the esophagus, stomach and small intestine, usually for palliative treatment of malignant tumors.
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) is a technique using an ultrasound probe that is placed at the end of an endoscope. The endoscope is passed into the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. The ultrasound probe is then used to obtain high resolution pictures of the neighboring organs. Biopsies can be obtained, samples can be collected, and potentially, medications can be directly injected into these neighboring organs. This is an important technology for diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas and liver.