Complications may arise after any surgical procedure but with proper guidelines, thorough patient education, and strict compliance, the risk for developing certain acute and even life-threatening complications can be prevented.
If you or any of your family went through an ERCP procedure, here are the following home care recommendations to ensure full recovery and safety:
- After ERCP, the patient may experience discomforts such as soreness of throat and a salt water gargle is highly recommended.
- Having enough rest will help during the recovery period, so refrain the post op patient from engaging on extraneous activities or household chores.
- Drink plenty of fluids according to the doctor’s prescribed amount. In fact, a clear liquid diet is prescribed upon discharge. Nausea can be prevented by starting with a light diet until the post op patient is advised to take a full diet.
- Bloating can be experienced and uncomfortable. To expel excess gas, allow heating pad on the belly of the patient to help reduce the discomfort. Belching is also encouraged.
- Alcohol and smoking are a No No.
Watch out for the danger signs that require you to immediately refer back the patient to the doctor:
- new severe, sharp, or steady pain in your stomach, neck, or chest
- fever over 100º F
- vomiting of blood (red or brown in color)
- bowel movements turn black, which can be a sign of bleeding
- lightheaded or dizziness when standing
- shortness of breath or trouble breathing
How to Prevent POST-ERCP Pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis is a common complication post ERCP. This could cause longer hospitalization stay therefore, costly hospitalization bill. Major morbidity with persistent viral infection, intensive care admission, dialysis or renal impairment is also possible. In worst cases, death due to acute pancreatitis post ERCP is not far from happening.
Even within a few hours after the procedure, the possibility of a patient to develop post ERCP pancreatitis can be diagnosed. The common symptoms associated with this are severe abdominal pain, back pain, nausea (with or without vomiting), and mild fever. Strict observation among the healthcare workers should be maintained. The post ERCP patient should be managed by a multidisciplinary team in a high-dependency intensive hospital setting.