If you have a history of gallstones or chronic liver disease, you may be at increased risk for biliary obstruction. The board-certified medical team at Peak Gastroenterology Associates offers the latest diagnostic technologies on-site at their clinics in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Salida, Denver, Woodland Park, and Parker, Colorado, to quickly identify obstructions. Customized treatment plans focus on removing the blockage and preventing more serious health complications. Learn more about your options for treating biliary obstruction by calling the Peak Gastroenterology Associates clinic nearest you or by requesting an appointment online.
Biliary Obstruction Q&A
WHAT IS A BILIARY OBSTRUCTION?
A biliary obstruction describes a blockage in your bile ducts, which carry bile from your liver and gallbladder through your pancreas and into your small intestine. Bile is a fluid your liver produces to help digest and absorb fats from your diet while clearing your liver of waste.
When the bile ducts become obstructed, it can lead to several complications. If left untreated, a biliary obstruction can cause a life-threatening liver condition.
WHAT CAUSES A BILIARY OBSTRUCTION?
A blockage in the bile ducts can occur for several reasons. You may develop a biliary obstruction due to:
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Narrowing of the bile duct (strictures)
You can also experience biliary obstruction due to a traumatic injury or from cirrhosis, a condition that results from scarring in the liver.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF BILIARY OBSTRUCTION?
The symptoms of biliary obstruction depend on the root cause of the blockage. Some of the most common symptoms you may experience include:
- Dark urine
- Abdominal pain
- Light-colored stools
- Unexplained weight loss
You may also notice yellowing in the whites of your eyes, a condition known as jaundice.
HOW IS A BILIARY OBSTRUCTION DIAGNOSED?
The team at Peak Gastroenterology Associates offer the latest diagnostic technologies to identify a biliary obstruction, such as:
- Blood work
The team also uses hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan, an outpatient procedure that uses scan technology to follow radiotracers your provider injects into your bloodstream.
The radiotracers travel through the bile ducts to the gallbladder and your Peak Gastroenterology Associates provider can watch their movement in real time to identify bile duct obstructions.
HOW IS A BILIARY OBSTRUCTION TREATED?
The goals of treating a biliary obstruction are to address the root cause of the blockage and prevent long-term complications, like infections and chronic liver disease.
In many cases, the Peak Gastroenterology Associates physicians use surgical techniques to remove obstructions, such as gallstones.
As part of your surgery, your provider may also place a stent inside the duct to keep it open and allow bile to flow through properly.
If you have symptoms of biliary obstruction, don’t delay a diagnostic evaluation. You can contact the Peak Gastroenterology Associates clinic nearest you using the online booking feature or by calling the office.