Bile duct injuries

Bile duct injuries during gallbladder surgery

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

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

  • What are the symptoms of bile duct injuries? icon plus

    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)
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    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.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    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 consultants

Our specialists are experienced in managing conditions and diagnosing problems related to the bile duct. Investigations and diagnostic tests can often be conducted on the same day  or next day.  

Our locations

From complex liver surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional HPB care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Book an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you can make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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