What are the treatment options for an obstructed bile duct?


Quick Answer

Treatment options for an obstructed bile duct include oral dissolution therapy, methyl-tert-butyl ether and external radiation, according to Florida Hospital. Surgical procedures such as biliary surgery, stenting, gallbladder removal and bile duct bypass may also treat an obstructed bile duct.

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Full Answer

Oral dissolution therapy involves a medication made from bile acid that dissolves gallstones, states Florida Hospital. Methyl-tert-butyl ether is a solution that is injected into the duct to dissolve the stones.

Surgical treatments aim to alleviate the blockage, explains Healthline. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography can obtain biopsies in case of tumors and remove small stones from the bile duct. This procedure uses an endoscope to cut through the base of the common bile duct, allowing the stones to pass through. Doctors may use stents to open up the bile ducts and prevent future blockages, according to Florida Hospital.

If a cancerous tumor is the cause of the obstruction, surgery may be used to treat it, states Drugs.com. The ducts may also be widened through a procedure called endoscopic or percutaneous dilation, says MedlinePlus.

If gallstones are the cause of the blockage, doctors often advise the patient to remove the gallbladder through a process known as a cholecystectomy in order to prevent future blockages, reports Healthline.

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