If you suffer from bile duct obstruction, there may be other underlying problems that should be addressed immediately. This condition occurs when there is a blockage in the tubes that transport bile into the gallbladder and small intestine. Bile is a liquid produced by the liver that contains bile salts, cholesterol, and waste products. It is stored in the gallbladder. After eating a meal, bile is moved into the small intestine to assist with digestion.
Causes of Bile Duct Obstruction
A bile duct blockage can happen for many reasons. Sometimes, inflammation can prevent bile from moving freely. Scarring can also narrow passages and cause obstruction. Other possible causes include:
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Common bile duct cysts
- Gallbladder surgery injury
- Tumors of the pancreas or bile ducts
- Flukes (worms in the liver and bile duct)
Your risk factor may increase if you have had an abdominal injury, biliary cancer, pancreatic cancer, gallstones, chronic pancreatitis, or recently had biliary surgery.
Bile Duct Obstruction Symptoms
You may be experiencing a bile duct obstruction if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Dark urine
- Stool that is light in color
- Yellowish skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Pain in the upper right region of the abdomen
- Vomiting and nausea
- Unexplained weight loss
Diagnosing Bile Duct Obstruction
If you suspect that you may have a bile duct obstruction, seek medical attention right away. Your gastroenterologist can perform tests to diagnose the problem and come up with a treatment plan.