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Percutaneous Biliary Drainage Catheter Placement

The common bile duct is a large connection between the liver, the gallbladder, and the gut. It can be blocked by many diseases, but it is most commonly blocked by either a gallstone or tumor. This blockage prevents the liver and gallbladder from removing the bile, which will eventually cause the liver to stop working well and cause pain, yellowing of the skin, poor digestion, and infection.

Blockages can be treated by gastroenterologists with an endoscope, surgeons with a bypass, and/or interventional radiologists with a drain. Interventional Radiologists treat the blockage by using a mixture of ultrasound and x-rays to advance a needle across the liver into a bile duct. Contrast is injected to look at the ducts and evaluate the location of the blockage. Then a wire is advanced through the needle into the bile duct. The needle is exchanged for a catheter, and the wire is removed. This catheter is left is in place to help the bile drain around the blockage.

The procedure has a moderate risk of bleeding, infection, and damage to nearby organs. If possible, patients should refrain from eating and drinking for 6 hours prior to the procedure and will be given medications to help them relax (i.e. moderate sedation). The procedure is typically reserved for inpatients, who will then remain in the hospital overnight after their procedure.

Doctors performing Percutaneous Biliary Drainage Catheter Placement

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