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.
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:
- Cancer of the bile duct.
- Damage and scarring due to a gallstone in the bile duct.
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis.
- Abdominal pain on the upper right side of belly
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pale or clay-colored stools
The following tests can help diagnose this condition:
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTC)
- Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
The following blood tests can help reveal a problem with the biliary system.
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is higher than normal.
- Bilirubin level is higher than normal.
The goal of treatment is to correct the narrowing so bile flow normally from the liver into the intestine. This may involve:
• Endoscopic or percutaneous dilation
If surgery is done, the stricture may be removed and the common bile duct rejoined with the small intestine.
In some cases, a stent (a tiny metal or plastic mesh tube) is placed across the bile duct stricture to keep it open