There are a number of possible major complications that can occur. These are very uncommon, however, your overall health will play a role in your likelihood of developing complications. For example, patients with severe heart disease, diabetes, serious gastrointestinal or lung disease have a higher chance of complications occurring than those that are healthier.
Depending on the individual situation, a major complication may lead to a stay in the hospital, repeat ERCP, surgery or in very rare cases, permanent disability or even loss of life. On average, loss of life occurs in less than 1 in 100 ERCPs with sphincterotomy.