Biliary Obstruction

Biliary obstruction is a block or issue within the biliary system which transports bile through the gallbladder to the small intestine to digest food.

What is a biliary obstruction?

The biliary system consists of a network of ducts responsible for carrying bile from the liver to the gallbladder and then to the small intestine for digestion. When one of these ducts becomes blocked, it prevents the free flow of bile throughout the biliary system. This blockage is commonly known as a bile duct obstruction, as it frequently occurs in the bile duct connecting the liver and the gallbladder. If you would like further details about this condition and its treatment options, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of doctors at The Gut Clinic UK.

What causes a biliary obstruction?

The primary cause of biliary obstruction is typically gallstones, which develop when there is an excessive amount of cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile. These solid particles can obstruct the bile ducts, hindering the normal flow of bile.

Additional factors that can lead to biliary obstruction include:

– Cysts in the common bile duct
– Inflammation of the bile duct
– Injury resulting from previous surgeries
– Tumors that have spread to the bile ducts
– Presence of parasites

These various factors can contribute to the occurrence of biliary obstruction.

What are the signs and symptoms of bile duct and biliary obstruction?

Bile duct obstructions are fairly common and can typically be addressed by a specialist. The primary symptoms associated with bile duct obstructions include:

– Jaundice
– Itching
– Dark urine
– Pale or light-colored stools
– Abdominal pain
– Fever and night sweats
– Nausea and vomiting
– Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite

If you have been experiencing a combination of these symptoms, we recommend reaching out to a gastroenterologist.

What will happen if my bile duct is blocked?

When a bile duct is blocked, the normal function of bile in breaking down food is impeded. Bile, produced by the liver, plays a crucial role in digesting fats and facilitating waste elimination from the body. If a biliary obstruction is left untreated, it can potentially result in a severe liver condition that poses a life-threatening risk.

If you are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms and suspect a bile duct blockage, it is essential to contact the nearest Gut Clinic UK location without delay.

What is the standard treatment for a biliary obstruction?

In most cases of biliary obstruction, the standard treatment involves utilising an endoscope during a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to remove the blockage. However, in more severe instances, surgery may be necessary to eliminate the obstruction and occasionally remove the gallbladder. If the underlying cause of the obstruction is cancer-related, it often involves procedures to widen and drain the ducts.


Find a specialist for your gut problem.

The Gut Clinic UK is a one of largest physician-led platform renowned for its exceptional Gut specialists in the United Kingdom. We take pride in our rigorous selection process for specialists, ensuring that only the most qualified and experienced professionals join our platform.

Our specialists actively engage with patients, providing them with clear explanations, answering their questions, and involving them in the decision-making process.