well, it sounds as if there are better methods than the ERCP to diagnose. The one thing about the ERCP though is that they can also treat while they are there.
Kind of a one stop shop.
Maybe they did it with me was the suspicion was so great that the ERCP was mostly confirmation of a good doctors belief of stones in the duct and they figured they had the option of treatment while they were there. I don;t know. I;m not a doc.
How long have these HIDA and MRCP scans/tests been available/used? If they were not common 12 years ago, that could also be the reason for not utilizing them.
In my case, I had no ill side effects and I felt great since the stones were removed.