What You Need to Know about Bile Duct Exploration Procedure

The liver produces and releases a liquid called bile (which contains cholesterol and bile salts) into the small intestine to aid digestion. The bile then passes through bile ducts (small tube-like structures) that connect the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas to the small intestine. 
If your bile duct is blocked by stones or narrowed by inflammation or infection, the bile gets accumulated in your liver, increasing bilirubin levels in your blood. However, surgery can help resolve these blockages.

Symptoms of Bile Duct Disorder

Symptoms may either occur suddenly when a gallstone blocks the cystic duct in the gallbladder or slowly over many years when scar tissue develops. 

Common symptoms of bile duct disorder are:

  • Fatigue
  • Itching 
  • Jaundice 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain on the right side (where the gallbladder and liver are located)

Bile Duct Exploration Procedure at Far North Surgery

Contact us if you experience any of these symptoms persistently. Our team of experts will review your medical history and assess your symptoms to determine whether you need a bile duct exploration procedure and check if anything is blocking the bile from passing into the small intestine. 

What You Should Do

Before the procedure

  • Eat light the day before your procedure
  • Take only prescribed medicine (if any) 
  • Avoid eating or drinking at least eight hours before your surgery 

During the procedure 

You will be given general anesthesia before the procedure. Once the anesthesia puts you to sleep, your doctor will make a small incision in your abdomen to access the bile duct and inject a dye into it. Next, they will take an X-ray to check for blockages.  

If any blockage or stones are detected, your doctor will remove them by making an incision in your bile duct. Then, they will insert a tube into your bile duct that will drain the bile into a bag kept outside the body. The tube will remain there for a certain number of weeks, and your doctor may repeat the procedure before removing the tube. 

After the procedure

Avoid involving in strenuous activities for 4-6 days after the procedure. Visit your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever 
  • Increased abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Warmth, soreness, drainage, or redness around the wound 

Common Risks Involved in Bile Duct Exploration Procedure 

As with any other surgery, the following are a few risks involved in this procedure:

  • Bile leak
  • Complications from general anesthesia 
  • Infection 
  • Scarring or swelling of the bile duct
  • Bleeding 

Reach out to us today at Far North Surgery if you are looking for the best surgeon in Anchorage for bile duct surgery. Our surgeon, Dr. Madhu Prasad, is highly experienced in diagnosing and treating bile duct disorders with minimally invasive procedures that ensure better results and quick recovery. 


Dr. Madhu Prasad, M.D., FACS

Dr. Madhu Prasad has over 30+ years of experience working as a general surgeon and surgical oncologist and providing the highest level of care in Anchorage, Alaska. He believes in providing quality care to patients and their families. Inspired by compassion and humanism, Dr. Prasad and his team work for the well-being of their patients.

Bile Duct Surgery

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