ERCP is a technique in which an endoscope, with a camera on its end, is passed down the esophagus, through the stomach, and into the duodenum. The entrance of the common bile duct into the duodenum can be viewed through the endoscope. Next, the surgeon can pass a special instrument on the end of the endoscope into the common bile duct as it enters the duodenum. Dye is injected through this instrument into the common bile duct; this allows for the visualization of gallstones by X-ray.
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