Biliary Obstruction in St. Louis, MO

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The human biliary system is a series of ducts that move bile from the liver into your gallbladder and then to your small bowel to facilitate the digestion of food within your small intestine. A biliary obstruction happens when one of these ducts becomes blocked and fails to allow the bile to pass as needed all throughout your biliary system. A biliary obstruction is commonly referred to as a bile duct obstruction since one of the most common locations where obstructions occur is within the bile duct between the gallbladder and the liver. If you need medical treatment for a biliary obstruction in St. Louis, MO, we are here to help. We encourage you to reach out to our network of gastrointestinal providers at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location to receive additional details about this condition and how it can be treated.

Bile duct obstruction in St. Louis, MO patients is not uncommon and can be treated by a gastroenterologist. The most common symptoms of a biliary obstruction are:

  • Jaundice
  • Itching
  • Dark urine
  • Pale or light-colored stools
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever and night sweats
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abnormal loss of weight or appetite

A common cause of a biliary obstruction are hard deposits known as gallstones. Gallstones can develop when the amount of bilirubin or cholesterol within the bile is too high. These solid deposits are then carried into the bile ducts and obstruct the flow of bile.

Other causes of a biliary blockage might include:

  • Common bile duct cyst formation
  • Bile duct inflammation
  • Surgical injury
  • Bile duct tumors
  • Parasites

If you have a bile duct obstruction, the bile is being prevented from doing its part in helping to digest foods. Bile is secreted by the liver to dissolve fats and enable them to be absorbed by the body, in addition to assisting in removing waste from the body. If not treated, a bile duct obstruction could progress to serious, life-threatening liver disease. Consult with a professional at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location in your community as soon as possible if you or a loved one believe you could have a bile duct blockage.

The majority of biliary obstructions can be removed by using an endoscope during a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). In severe, or extreme situations, surgery may be necessary to remove the blockage and sometimes remove the gallbladder. If the obstruction is a result of cancer, it is likely that the ducts will need to be stretched and drained.

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If you or a loved one are experiencing dark urine or pale stools or believe you could have a biliary obstruction, please connect with your nearest Specialists in Gastroenterology to request a consultation with one of our GI providers at your earliest convenience. We proudly offer treatment for biliary obstruction in St. Louis, MO and look forward to the opportunity to provide you with the world-class care you deserve.

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