Biliary disorders

Biliary disorders involve diseases related to the bile ducts, gallbladder, and other structures related to bile juice transport. The diagnosis of bile diseases can be made through liver function tests, ultrasound, liver biopsy, CT scan, MRI, and blood tests. Treatment depends upon the cause and type of biliary disease.

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  • Gallbladder Stones: Gallbladder stones are formed in the gallbladder due to the deposition of digestive fluid (bile). The condition develops if bile has high levels of bilirubin or cholesterol or a low amount of bile salts. Patients with this condition experience severe pain in the abdomen, right shoulder pain, nausea, and vomiting. The pain may last for a few minutes to a few hours. Depending upon the constituent, gallbladder stones may be cholesterol gallstones (high undissolved cholesterol) or pigment gallstones (high bilirubin).
  • Bile Duct Stones: It is also known as choledocholithiasis. Patients with bile duct stones experience severe pain, and the stone has the potential to damage the liver, pancreas, or digestive system. The other symptoms of bile duct stones include jaundice, dark urine, and pancreatitis. Diagnosing bile duct stones includes a physical examination, blood tests (for liver function), and imaging tests to visualize the trapped stone.
  • Bile Duct Stricture: This is a condition characterized by the narrowing of the bile duct. The Bile duct is a passage through which the bile flows from the liver to the small intestine. It helps in digestion. When the bile duct gets narrowed, there is an accumulation of bile. The patients with biliary strictures experience nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, and grey-colored stools.
  • Post-Surgery Stones: The treatment of gallstones usually involves the removal of the gallbladder. The procedure is also known as cholecystectomy. Usually, the stones are found within three years of the gallbladder removal surgery. The patients may also have recurrent gallstones in the bile ducts post-surgery.
  • Post-Surgery Stricture: It is a serious complication that may occur after cholecystectomy. The optimal treatment for this condition is surgical reconstruction. The initial management involves the placement of the catheters to remove the obstruction.
  • Cholangiocarcinoma: It is cancer that develops in the bile ducts. Symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma include fever, fatigue, night sweats, dark urine, itchy skin, and abdominal pain. The risk factors include smoking, diabetes, advanced age, chronic liver disease, and congenital bile duct problems.