Biliary Obstruction Specialists

Illinois Gastroenterology Group -  - Gastroenterology

Illinois Gastroenterology Group

Gastroenterology located in Oak Lawn, Oakbrook Terrace & Palos Heights, IL

Biliary obstructions affect only a few thousand Americans each year, but this painful and potentially serious medical condition requires immediate treatment. At Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Oak Lawn, Oakbrook Terrace, and Palos Heights, Illinois, the board-certified gastroenterologists offer comprehensive care for bile obstructions using innovative and effective methods of treatment. If you’re concerned about your risk of biliary obstruction, call or click the online booking tool today.

Biliary Obstruction Q & A

What is a Biliary Obstruction?

Bile is a green, yellow, or brown fluid secreted by your liver to aid in the digestion of fats. Your bile ducts carry bile from your liver, through your pancreas, and into your small intestine. Whenever you eat a meal, your liver releases bile, which also helps to clean your liver. If one or more of your bile ducts becomes obstructed, it’s known as biliary obstruction. 

Detected early on, biliary obstruction is easy to treat. However, if your blockage remains untreated, it might lead to life-threatening liver disease. 

Are There Different Types of Bile Ducts?

Your body contains several different bile ducts. The two types of bile ducts in your liver are:

  • Intrahepatic Ducts: Intrahepatic ducts are a small system of tubes within your liver that transport bile to your extrahepatic ducts.
  • Extrahepatic Ducts: Extrahepatic ducts begin as two separate ducts on either side of your liver. Ultimately, they unite to form the common hepatic duct, which feeds directly into your small intestine.

What are the Symptoms of Biliary Obstruction?

The symptoms of biliary obstruction depend on the underlying cause. However, common telltale signs include: 

  • Light-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Itching
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

You might also experience nausea or pain in the upper right side of your abdomen. 

What Tests Confirm a Biliary Obstruction Diagnosis?

If your Illinois Gastroenterology Group provider suspects that your symptoms are the result of biliary obstruction, they might recommend:

  • Blood Tests: A complete blood count (CBC) and liver function test can help pinpoint certain conditions that indicate a low bile flow. The team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group regularly uses blood tests to detect inflammation of the gallbladder and bile ducts.
  • Ultrasonography: Ultrasonography is a type of diagnostic imaging that uses soundwaves to take images of your internal organs. If your provider suspects you have a biliary obstruction, an ultrasound is the first diagnostic test performed.
  • Biliary Radionuclide Scan (HIDA scan): A HIDA scan uses radioactive materials to provide your doctor with information about your gallbladder and any potential obstructions. This type of test is usually a last resort. 

What are the Options for Treating Biliary Obstruction?

Treatment for biliary obstruction depends on the severity of your symptoms. Obstructions caused by small stones are usually treated with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a minimally invasive procedure that involves placing a stent to restore bile flow.

If you have a more serious obstruction, your provider might recommend a cholecystectomy or the surgical removal of your gallbladder.

Are you experiencing the symptoms of biliary construction? If so, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Call or click to make an appointment at Illinois Gastroenterology Group today.