Bile duct stricture
- Itching (a common symptom).
- Yellow skin or eyes (from the buildup of bilirubin, a waste product).
- Weight loss.
- Night sweats.
- Loss of appetite.
- Light-colored stools.
- Bilirubin level is higher than normal.
- Lipase level.
- Urine bilirubin.
- Prothrombin time (PT).
- Endoscopic therapy: A bile duct stricture is commonly treated by placing a small stent (a hollow tube) within the bile duct to keep it open. This procedure can be performed at the time of diagnosis with miniaturized surgical instruments inserted through the ERCP endoscope. If the narrowing or stricture completely blocks the bile duct - and if it is amenable to dilation or enlargement - it can be widened first with a procedure called balloon dilation. A balloon on the tip of a catheter is passed through the ERCP endoscope and is inflated at the site of the stricture, enlarging the blocked duct. A stent, also passed through the ERCP endoscope, is then placed within the duct and opened.
- Percutaneous therapy: When an ERCP procedure is not the best option for the patient, a percutaneous (through the skin) procedure to dilate a stricture and place a stent can be done instead.
- Surgical therapy: Surgical treatment is recommended when endoscopic therapy is not successful or if the bile duct stricture cannot be treated by endoscopic or percutaneous means. During surgery, our liver, pancreas and biliary surgical team remove the stricture and connect the bile duct to the small intestine. This open surgical procedure is performed in the operating room under a general anesthetic.
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