Sean C. Lai, MD -  - Primary Care Physician

Sean C. Lai, MD

Primary Care Physician & Gastroenterologist located in Santa Monica, CA

ERCP Specialist

Dr. Lai offers skilled ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) services for patients in and around Santa Monica, CA, to help diagnose and treat conditions affecting the gallbladder, pancreas and bile duct.
    1. "He figured out an unusual and painful problem and it makes my life MUCH better!"

    2. M.I. Yelp

    1. "I knew I was being cared for by an expert!"

    2. Anonymous Wellness


by Sean C. Lai, MD

What is an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography  (ERCP)?

ERCP is a procedural technique that combines both endoscopy and fluoroscopy to enable your doctor to diagnose and treat medical conditions affecting your biliary or pancreatic systems, including your pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts.

When is ERCP used?

An ERCP procedure is typically prescribed to diagnose or treat the following conditions:

  • abdominal pain related to the pancreas or bile duct

  • gallstones

  • tumors in the pancreas or bile duct

  • in response to an abnormal liver test or jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes)

What's involved in an ERCP procedure?

ERCP is performed on an empty stomach, so you'll be required to fast for several hours prior to your test. Also be sure to let your doctor know about any medications you're taking, including aspirin, blood thinner or vitamin supplements. Prior to your procedure, you'll be sedated through an IV in your arm. Once you're sedated, a small, flexible tube will be inserted through your mouth and esophagus and into your small bowel. A small amount of dye will be injected into the bile duct or pancreas and x-rays will be taken. The dye helps the x-rays create detailed images to aid in diagnosis and treatment. During the ERCP procedure, Dr. Lai may decide to take biopsies, tiny tissue samples, for examination under a microscope to detect for abnormal cells. He may also use the procedure to remove gallstones or place a stent in the duct to help keep the duct open and provide proper drainage. At the end of the procedure, you'll be taken to recovery and monitored, typically for a few hours, before discharge. Be sure to have someone on hand to drive you home since the effects of sedation may not have completely worn off.

Major Insurance Accepted

Below is a short list of the insurance plans we accept. If you do not see your insurance on the list, please call our office. We also offer very reasonable discounted packages for patients who do not have insurance coverage.

Blue Cross
Blue Shield
First Health (Coventry Health Care)
Great West Life
GWH-Cigna (formerly Great West Healthcare)
Health Net
Oxford (UnitedHealthcare)

Words from our patients

  • Yelp

    "His experience, knowledge, skill and ability to address your G.I. issues and create a plan to help you regain your health is priceless. I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Lai."

    Cathy M.
    Lai, Sean C., MD
    2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 1286W
    Santa Monica, CA 90404
    Phone: 310-453-0553
    Fax: 310-943-2776
    Office Hours

    Sean Lai, MD
    2001 Santa Monica Blvd.
    Suite 1286W
    Santa Monica, CA 90404