Stones in Bile Ducts


Choledocholithiasis is the presence of stones in bile ducts; the stones can form in the gallbladder or in the ducts themselves. These stones cause biliary colic, biliary obstruction, gallstone pancreatitis, or cholangitis (bile duct infection and inflammation).

People with biliary obstruction usually have:
  • light-colored stools.
  • dark urine.
  • yellowish skin or eyes, which indicates jaundice.
  • itching.
  • pain in the upper right side of the abdomen.
  • nausea.
  • vomiting.
  • weight loss.

The primary objective of medical or surgical treatment is to alleviate the blockage. Some of the treatment options include a cholecystectomy and an ERCP.

A cholecystectomy is the removal of the gallbladder if there are gallstones. An ERCP may be sufficient to remove small stones from the common bile duct or to place a stent inside the duct to restore bile flow.


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