Here is a list of some important things that you must talk to your doctor about before getting an ERCP test:
- If you have diabetes: If you are diabetic, ask your doctor about your medication and diet restrictions. Make sure to not take any oral diabetes medicines on the day of the procedure. Also, if you take metformin, you need to stop taking it one day before the colonoscopy. Moreover, you will also be required to bring your own insulin and insulin syringes with you on the day of the procedure. Your blood sugar will be checked before and after the ERCP procedure.
- If you take any blood-thinning medication: If you are taking any medication for thinning your blood like Lovenox, Pradaxia, Plavix, or Coumadin, you will be required to discuss it with your doctor prior to the procedure. It is important to get the permission of your prescribing doctor to know if you should stop these medications or not.
- If you take any other prescription medication: If you are currently taking any other prescription medication, you can continue taking all of the other medications that were instructed by your prescribing physician.
- If you are pregnant: If you are pregnant or there can be any possibility of you being pregnant, you should discuss the benefits and risks of the ECRP medical procedure with the doctor.
- Pro Tip: Always remember to arrange for a ride on the day of the ERCT. Since you will be under the influence of sedation, it would be quite dangerous to drive back home on your own. It is always a good option to ask a family member or friend to give you a ride instead of taking a taxi or bus.
To ensure the ECRP test will be successful, you have to be mindful of a few things, including:
- Stop consuming solid foods at midnight.
- You can have clear liquids, like water, clear broth, black coffee, Gatorade, and apple juice.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages or red liquids.
- Before 4 hours of the ECRP, you should not have anything by mouth including no water, mints, gums, ice cubes, etc.
- You can take the usual medications, except the ones that we have mentioned above. Make sure you don’t take the medication with water of more than 4oz.
- Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes for the procedure. Avoid wearing flip-flops, backless shoes, or sandals.
- Do not wear any jewelry including earrings, watches, necklaces, anklets, bracelets, and rings before the ERCP test.
- Make sure to spend at least two hours at the endoscopy center on the day of the procedure. Notably, the test will take about 40-60 minutes.
Preparation before the Exam
- You will be asked to change into a robe and gown.
- A nurse and an anesthesiologist will review your medical history.
- You will have to sign a consent form.
- An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted in your arm and hand.
- If you are a woman under the age of 50 and menstruating, you will be asked to get a pregnancy test done.