Bile Duct Injuries Following Gallbladder Surgery
The most common cause of bile duct injuries is trauma to the bile duct
during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder surgery). It is estimated
that as many as 1% of gallbladder operations may lead to injury to the
bile duct with subsequent development of a bile duct stricture.
A bile duct stricture is caused by the narrowing of the bile duct, due
to scar formation. The narrow bile duct prevents the bile from draining
into the intestine. The bile then backs up into the liver and spills over
into the bloodstream causing obstructive jaundice.
In addition to injury to the bile duct, injury to the hepatic artery (the
blood vessel that supplies blood to the liver) is commonly associated
with a bile duct injury, in 20 percent of cases.
Symptoms of Bile Duct Injuries
Patients with bile duct injury after a laparoscopic cholecystectomy may
experience symptoms soon after surgery, or several weeks to months after
the injury has occurred.
Patients with early onset of symptoms, usually present with leakage of
bile into the abdominal cavity. Some of the symptoms that are associated
with this include:
- Persistent pain and discomfort
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Since patients generally recover rapidly after laparoscopic cholecystectomy,
physicians should carefully evaluate patients who are not improving for
possible bile duct injury from laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Patients who develop delayed symptoms from a bile duct injury usually have
scarring of the bile duct from the injury, which leads to narrowing of
the bile duct (bile duct stricture) so that bile cannot pass through.
These patients experience jaundice as their primary symptom.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important
to seek proper evaluation and treatment from a healthcare expert experienced in the
treatment of bile duct injuries, as well as other hepatobiliary conditions.
Expert Care You Can Trust!
The Hoag Digestive Disease Center, in alliance with USC Norris Comprehensive
Cancer Center, continues to lead the way in complex hepatobiliary care, providing access
to a highly specialized surgical team that works collaboratively with
Hoag-affiliated gastrointestinal specialists to provide academic-level
care. Hoag’s committed to
accurate diagnosis, combined with
progressive therapeutic options enables Hoag patients to achieve some of the highest clinical outcomes
in the nation.
To schedule a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, or a second-opinion
consultation with a Hoag hepatobiliary expert, visit
Meet the Team, or call us at: 949-764-5350.