How is biliary stricture treated?
There are no medical treatments for biliary stricture. Most of the times, it can be treated with a procedure, and possibly a surgery.
There are two procedures that can be done to open a biliary stricture:
- In ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography), an endoscope (a long, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end) is advanced through the mouth, esophagus and stomach all the way to the first part of the small bowel where the bile duct connects to the small bowel. The stricture can then be opened by inserting a biliary stent (a metal or plastic tube ) to open the stricture.
- The other procedure that can be done is called PTHC (percutaceous transhepatic cholangiography), in which a catheter (drain) is inserted through the right side of the abdominal wall, inside the liver to the biliary tree. The stricture is kept open with a plastic catheter that also helps remove the excess bile and keep the stricture open.
Your doctor will decide which procedure you will need based on the cause of the stricture and other factors.
In rare cases, biliary stricture might require a surgery. Surgery is done to resect (take out) the narrowed part of the bile duct and then reconnect the healthy bile duct.