The bile duct transports bile from the gallbladder through the pancreas and into the small intestine. The bile duct joins the liver to the small intestine. The bile duct is tube-like in appearance.
The liver produces bile, a yellowish brown fluid-like secretion. Bile contains cholesterol, bilirubin and bile salts. The gallbladder stores the bile until it is needed for fat digestion. Bile travels through the bile duct, pancreas and to the duodenum, which is a part of the small intestine. Fat digestion occurs in the duodenum.
A bile duct obstruction can occur if too much bile builds up in the liver. This can lead to jaundice because of high levels of bilirubin in the blood, according to MedlinePlus. Some possible causes for a bile duct obstruction include a bile duct cyst, gallstones and tumors of the pancreas, bile duct or a part of the biliary system.