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Bile Duct Surgery

Bile ducts are structures that carry the bile, a fluid that is very much necessary for digestion. The main duct is known as the bile tree, from which other smaller ducts branch out. The presence of bile stones is the common condition that affects the bile duct. Bile stones are removed using various procedures. Some of the procedures are as follows:

  • Laparoscopic bile duct exploration: In this minimal-invasive procedure, the stones are removed under the guidance of X-rays. Instruments like baskets are passed into the duct. The bile stones are then searched and caught using these instruments. The procedure becomes difficult if the stones are located in areas that are difficult to access. Due to this reason, the success rate for this is only 60%.
  • Laparoscopic bile duct bypass: This method is preferred for those having narrowed bile ducts. Other conditions that can utilize this surgery are bile drainage into the intestine, accumulation of bile the blood. Several benign tumors can also lead to stricture.
  • Open bile duct exploration: Open surgery is recommended for large bile stones. Removal of these stones may not be easy when the other methods are adopted. An incision 15-25cm is made in abdomen just below the rib cage. This position is selected so as to have better access to bile duct. In complicated cases, the operation may involve procedure to regain the normal flow of bile. Although such procedures involve complications, these are found to be very effective.
  • ERCP & sphincterotomy: In such a technique, an endoscope is passed into the duodenum. This is followed by sphincterotomy, wherein the muscular valves are opened at the ampulla. Through this incision, balloons and baskets are passed through duct. These structures fetch the bile stones. Although this procedure is safe, several complications can arise. These include haemorrhage, pancreatitis, cholangitis etc.
  • PTC: In this procedure, tubes and needles are passed through the abdominal wall, thereby gaining access to the ducts. The surgery is used only in certain conditions where the ERCP method has failed.