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SOUTH DENVER GASTROENTEROLOGY, P.C.

Biliary Disorders

What are Biliary Disorders?

Biliary disorders are problems that affect the bile ducts. The bile ducts are a series of thin tubes that run from the liver to the small intestine. Their job is to allow bile to flow from the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine. Bile is a fluid that is created by the liver and stored in the gallbladder that aids in digestion. It breaks down fatty acids so that they can be easily absorbed into the body through the digestive tract, and also plays a role in eliminating certain waste products from the body.

Overall, there are various different biliary disorders, some of which include:

Biliary Disease

Biliary disease refers to a number of diseases that affect the bile ducts, gallbladder and other structures that produce or transport bile in the body. Common symptoms include jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue and fever or chills.

Cholangitis

This is an infection in the liver’s bile ducts. It often occurs when a stone blocks bile from passing through. Symptoms may include fever, chills, jaundice or abdominal pain.

Bile Duct Leaks

Bile duct leaks can occur when there is a small tear anywhere along the bile duct. This can cause the bile to leak into the abdominal cavity, which can cause pain, inflammation or infection.

Biliary Stones

Also known as gallstones, biliary stones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid. They can vary in number and size, and may or may not cause symptoms.

Biliary Stricture

Biliary strictures occur when the bile duct grows narrower, resulting in a buildup of bile. Symptoms may include pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, jaundice, chills, fever or nausea.

Bile Duct Cancer

Bile duct cancer, also called cholangiocarcinoma, develops in the bile ducts. It can block these ducts, causing pain and uncomfortable symptoms such as jaundice, fever, weight loss, upper abdominal pain and more.

How are Biliary Disorders Diagnosed?

To properly diagnose a biliary disorder, your doctor may have you undergo some testing. These tests may include blood tests, liver function tests, ultrasound, endoscopic ultrasound, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), CT scan, MRI, liver biopsy or more. Our team will work with you to determine the appropriate testing based on your medical history and current symptoms.

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Biliary Disorder Treatment Options

Treatment will vary depending on your individual biliary disorder diagnosis. However, your treatment plan may consist of medications to increase the flow of bile from the liver or antibiotics to treat any present infection. There are also a number of surgical techniques that can be performed to address bile duct strictures, obstructions or leaks, which include endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to insert a stent within the blocked area. Gallstones may require a cholecystectomy to remove the gallbladder.

Overall, a consultation appointment with one of our skilled providers at South Denver GI is recommended for proper diagnosis and treatment of your biliary disorder.

Your South Denver GI Team

At South Denver GI, our team of physicians and advanced practice providers have the expertise to provide you with outstanding care. If you would like to learn more about Biliary Disorders or need to schedule an appointment at our office, contact us today!


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