You have several ducts in your body that help keep your digestive system running smoothly by helping to transport bile, a fluid that aids in digestion. If one of these ducts is blocked, it is known as a biliary obstruction, and left untreated, it can cause serious health conditions – even life-threatening liver diseases.
Bile is a dark colored fluid that is produced by your liver and stored in your gallbladder until it is needed. Its function is to help digest and absorb fat, so when you eat, the bile is released from the gallbladder into a bile duct, then passes through the pancreas and into the duodenum, which is the first section of your small intestine. Bile also helps remove waste products from the liver.
There are different types of bile ducts, including ones located in the liver as well as in the gallbladder. The liver ducts are known as the intrahepatic and extrahepatic ducts. The intrahepatic ducts are a system of small tubes within the liver that are responsible for collecting and transporting bile to the extrahepatic ducts. The extrahepatic ducts have a tube on both the right and left side of the liver, and as the ducts descend towards the small intestine, they merge to form what is called the common hepatic duct.
The duct leading from the gallbladder is called the biliary duct, and it too opens onto the common hepatic duct. From this juncture on, the duct is known as the common bile duct. It continues to transport the bile through the pancreas, finally emptying its contents into the duodenum.
If you have an obstruction in one of your bile ducts, it can result in several serious and sometimes life-threatening health conditions. Biliary obstruction can lead to inflammation, liver cirrhosis, chronic bile duct disease or biliary cancer.
The most prevalent cause of biliary obstruction is gallstones, but other causes include:
Because women are at a higher risk for gallstones, they are often also at a higher risk of developing a bile duct obstruction.
Risk factors for biliary obstructions are usually dependent on whatever is causing the obstruction (such as a gallstone). However, some common risk factors include:
Similar to the risk factors for biliary obstruction, symptoms can vary depending on the cause of the obstruction, and may include:
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, or have been diagnosed with biliary duct obstruction, it can be a precursor to an even more urgent health concern. Call IVC today at 503-612-0498 to schedule an appointment with one of our team of experienced and professional interventional radiologists. We offer treatment using both surgical and nonsurgical methods, so that you can start the healing and recovery process as soon as possible, preventing more severe problems down the road.
This is for Dr. Pfister. I just wanted to thank him for all the time he spent with us the other week. In all the years I’ve had my vascular problems I’ve never had a doctor really sit down and explain to me the intricacies of what might be going on. I have a lot to think about…but just wanted to say thanks for being so nice and answering our many questions!L.H.
A fantastic group of wonderful people. The procedure was very smooth. When they were putting the port in I felt like I was getting a great massage!! Thank you all!S.C.
Charley was instrumental in getting me scheduled in quickly to get my PICC line removed. She actually worked until late in the day to get the information from my referring doctor’s office. It is nice to know great people like Charley still exist in this world!K.S.
I had my blood clot filter removed on 2/21/18. I was very apprehensive, yet EVERYONE in Dr. Pfister’s office and surgical team helped to make me comfortable. I am extremely claustrophobic so laying down or having something covering my face creates anxiety. Mary Anne listened to my concerns and made sure I was made comfortable and did not feel anxious. The surgical team was amazing, they explained everything thoroughly. Dr. Pfister came in after the procedure to review what he did and discuss any follow up that might be required. I so appreciate the time and attention he gives me as his patient. This was a positive experience.G.H.
110% Thank You! Best unit so far in my cancer treatment. Thanks Dr. LoveAnonymous
If you ever need an Interventional Radiologist for a child I realize it is serious business. I’ve seen Dr. Love go and save a child’s kidney without missing a beat. I could recommend no one better for myself, or for people I love. I think he is a little cool at the bedside, but that’s OK Dr. Love, stay frosty! If you can’t see Dr. Love, one of the other professionals at IVC will be able to help you. Ashley, the dynamite scheduler and one of the other surgeons at IVC will care for you. I’ve had multiple surgeries with this practice over the past several years. Never a hiccup!S. R. – Portland, OR
Great experience, doctor was thorough in explaining what was going to happen. The nurses were very attentive and made sure I was comfortable and my needs were met. I would recommend this office for any related procedure.Anonymous
Everything went very smoothly. Joe enjoyed the music. Very friendly staff! Good Experience!J. & E.
All staff was courteous and efficient. Good experience.J. J.
Dr. Pfister, thanks so much for your excellent care, removing my chemo port earlier this week. With all your experience and your fine touch, I’m confident the scar will be nearly invisible. Your team, from beginning to end, did a super job with me. Please extend my gratitude to Jennifer, Mary Anne, Todd and Charley. I’ve got a whole lot of living left to do. I appreciate all of you helping me do it!M. F.
Dr. Pfister, thank you for all of the attention you gave to me. I learned lots from our discussion – hearing you speak of ultimate healing was enough to encourage me to do all I can to strengthen those muscles.S. O.
The entire office is one of the most professional, helpful and informative medical offices I have dealt with (and I have dealt with many). Kudos to Jennifer, Henry, and Charley!K. C.
Great people. Great place. Good surgery.G. G.
Patty, Mary Anne and the whole staff was amazing! Best experience I’ve had since being diagnosed with cancer. From start to finish, was great. Thanks.M
My brother came into Legacy Meridian Park, had a stroke. Dr. Bauer came in immediately, in his work jeans and shirt. He worked with Neurologist Dr. Burbank, developed a plan and took my brother into a procedure where they removed the clot from his head! Very down to earth doctor, explained procedure to family, worked with sense of urgency.J. P.
I want to comment regarding Dr. Bauer of how he was thorough explaining my CT Biopsy and showing me how on the computer he would get the tissue needed. In all the years of several surgeries I have never felt better going in to have a procedure done. His bedside manner was incredible. I wish all doctors were like Dr. Bauer. Thank you for preparing and relaxing me prior to the biopsy.R.S. Molalla OR
Everyone did a superb job taking care of me and doing the procedure. Thank You AllK.S.
Dr. Bauer genuinely cares about his patients and strives to make sure they understand every aspect of their treatment.A. L.
Dr. Bauer, our family wants you to know how thankful we are to you for saving G.P.’s life and bringing him back to us in normal health. Thank you over and over you are the best!Family of G. P.