Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in patients with surgically altered gastrointestinal anatomy

Syed Amer, Jennifer L. Horsley-Silva, Christine O. Menias, Rahul Pannala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in patients with surgically altered upper gastrointestinal anatomy, such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), can be more challenging compared to those with a normal anatomy. Detailed assessment of cross-sectional imaging features by the radiologist, especially the pancreaticobiliary anatomy, strictures, and stones, is very helpful to the endoscopist in planning the procedure. In addition, any information on enteral anastomoses (for e.g., gastrojejunal strictures and afferent limb obstruction) is also very useful. The endoscopist should review the operative note to understand the exact anatomy prior to procedure. RYGB, which is performed for medically complicated obesity, is the most commonly encountered altered anatomy ERCP procedure. Other situations include patients who have had a pancreaticoduodenectomy or a hepaticojejunostomy. Balloon-assisted deep enteroscopy (single and double-balloon enteroscopy) or rotational endoscopy is often used to traverse the length of the intestine to reach the papilla. In addition, ERCP in these patients is further challenging due to the oblique orientation of the papilla relative to the forward viewing endoscope and the limited enteroscopy-length therapeutic accessories that are currently available. Overall, reported therapeutic success is approximately 70–75% with a complication rate of 3–4%. Alternative approaches include percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography, laparoscopy-assisted ERCP, or surgery. Given the complexity, ERCP in patients with surgically altered anatomy should be performed in close collaboration with body imagers, interventional radiology, and surgical services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2921-2931
Number of pages11
JournalAbdominal Imaging
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 25 2015


  • Abdominal imaging
  • ERCP
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Surgically altered anatomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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