Sezgin Yılmaz

Department of General Surgery, Afyonkarahisar Health Sciences University Faculty of Sciences, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey (Legist)


Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is an invasive endoscopic procedure mainly used for hepatobiliary and pancreatic disorders. Although it was first developed by a surgeon, McCune, there is still debate on who can perform this procedure. This problem, which actually needs to be solved within medical ethics, has been brought to the courts, and lawsuits have been filed against general surgeons to prevent them from performing ERCP. The current situation in our country demonstrates that 50-70% of ERCP procedures are performed by general surgeons. In regions where there are not enough gastroenterology specialists, only general surgeons perform this procedure. Today, general surgeons have hundreds of articles on ERCP procedures and studies accepted as international guideline. ERCP procedure -which is in fact a surgical procedure- is included in hepatobiliary surgical procedures in the general surgery core training schedule. General surgeons receive ERCP education in a 6-month challenging program at centers accredited by the Turkish Surgical Society. The problem of ERCP license cannot be solved by legal authorities but by medical, ethical and deontological discussions. Our recommendation here is that the Ministry of Health should associate this procedure with a specific legislation, just like in endoscopy, and establish a specific ERCP training program accepted for license. In this article, the problem of who should perform ERCP was discussed within the framework of legal legislation, medical doctrine and realities of our country.

Keywords: ERCP, licence, law, patient’s rights

Cite this article as: Yılmaz S. ERCP licence in the context of medical practices, legal regulations, medical ethics and patient’s rights in our country. Turk J Surg 2022; 38 (1): 1-4.


Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest was declared by the authors

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.