Biliary Catheter and Stenting Interventions

What is it?

Biliary catheter and stenting interventions are the use of various minimally invasive imaging procedures to diagnose and treat narrowing or blockages in bile ducts. Bile is a liquid substance created by the liver and flows through ducts to the gallbladder for storage. When the body needs bile for digestion, it is released into the small intestine.

What is it for?

To unblock bile ducts. Bile ducts that are blocked can lead to jaundice, inflammation or infection.

How to prepare

You may need to stop taking some of your medications before the procedure. Speak with your doctor about the medications you are taking. You should also tell your doctor if you’ve had an allergic reaction to contrast material (dye). This may require specific precautions. Contrast material is used for the procedure.

Please report any recent illnesses.

You will be given instructions about fasting and a liquid diet prior to the procedure.

What happens during?

Catheters are guided by imaging techniques and used to locate blockages, and in some cases, drain excess bile. A stent (small tube) might be placed in order to keep the duct open or bypass the duct altogether. Using the least invasive procedures available minimizes risks to patients and can make recovery times faster.

What happens after?

While in recovery at the hospital, you will be checked for pain and your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure will be observed. The catheter site will be checked for bleeding.

Side effects

Call your doctor if you experience any of the following near the catheter site while at home:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Hearing the catheter
  • Leakage that sometimes is foul-smelling
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Drainage that has a bloody appearance