Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: What is Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography?

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography. It’s a fancy name, but a quick procedure that helps to treat pancreatic and bile duct problems.

“It’s used to treat people who have problems like recurrent pancreatitis or stones that are stuck in the pancreas duct or bile ducts,” said Dr. Mohammad Shakhatreh, an advanced gastroenterologist at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. “It can also be used to treat anything related to the gall bladder where surgery is not an option, for example.”

Dr. Shakhatreh says the non-invasive procedure can help people in many ways, whether it’s placing a stent to open up an obstruction, or removing a stone or tumor.

“In thinking about who this procedure is for, we think about people with recurrent attacks of pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas. We think about people who have stones in their bile ducts that have spilled out from the gall bladder, people who have had injuries to their pancreatic or bile duct from trauma from example, or prior surgery,” said Dr. Shakhatreh.

During the procedure, an endoscope is used to examine the digestive system. The procedure itself is typically around 45 minutes. Patients are then able to get back to their normal routine.

“You come in, you get it done and people are typically on their way about an hour after the procedure is performed,” noted Dr. Shakhatreh.

For more information on this topic or Dr. Shakhatreh please call 1-800-SENTARA.

If you have a question about your health you’d like us to answer, email

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.