Bile duct injuries

Bile duct injuries can happen during gallbladder surgery, affecting the normal flow of bile.

Enquiries & Appointments

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What is bile duct damage?

Your bile duct can be cut, burned or damaged during gallbladder surgery. Although relatively rare, these injuries can affect the normal flow of bile, which helps your body to break down fat. As a result, bile duct injuries can lead to serious symptoms, like jaundice. If left untreated, they can also be fatal.

Need to know

Bile duct injuries are normally picked up on during gallbladder surgery or immediately after. In other cases, certain symptoms may also be a sign of a bile duct injury:

  • fever and chills
  • feeling sick
  • vomiting tummy pain or swelling
  • feeling generally unwell
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes)

If your bile duct injury or injuries are not picked up on during surgery, your HCA UK consultant may recommend certain diagnostic tests. These might include:

  • An ultrasound scan to produce images of the organs in your abdomen.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Using a flexible telescope with a light on the end of it to examine your bile duct and digestive system.
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP). This scan uses a combination of radio and magnetic waves to create detailed images of your bile duct.

If a bile duct injuries are spotted during or immediately after surgery, your consultant general surgeon will look to manage any resulting leakage or infection.

If bile duct injuries are diagnosed well after surgery, your HCA UK consultant will discuss your treatment options with you. These are likely to include surgery to repair your bile duct.

Our Bile duct injuries locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London
Walk-In GP Centre at London Bridge Hospital

Walk-In GP Centre at London Bridge Hospital

29 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.