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Bile pathway
Bile pathway


Definition:

A biliary stricture is an abnormal narrowing of the common bile duct, the tube that moves bile (a substance that helps with digestion) from the liver to the small intestine.



Alternative Names:

Bile duct stricture



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

A biliary stricture is often caused by surgical injury to the bile ducts. For example, it may occur after surgery to remove the gallbladder.

Other causes of this condition include:

Risk factors include previous biliary surgery , pancreatitis, gallstones, or injury to the intestine.



Signs and tests:

The following tests can help diagnose this condition:

The following blood tests can help reveal abnormal function of biliary system .

This condition may also alter the results of the following tests:



Treatment:

The goal of treatment is to correct the narrowing and help bile flow normally from the liver into the intestine. This may involve surgery or less invasive procedures (endoscopic or percutaneous dilation). Depending on the location, if surgery is done, the stricture may be removed and the common bile duct rejoined with the small intestine.

In some cases, a stent is placed across the bile duct stricture to keep it open.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

Treatment is usually successful.



Complications:

Recurrent inflammation of the biliary duct and stricture can occur in some patients. Patients are at risk for infection developing above the stricture. Long-standing strictures can lead to cirrhosis .



Calling your health care provider:

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms recur after pancreatitis, cholecystectomy , or other biliary surgery.



Prevention:



References:

Ostroff JW, LaBerge JM. Endoscopic and radiologic treatment of biliary disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Sleisenger MH, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2006:chap 67.




Review Date: 9/20/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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