Biliary Dilatation

Also known as: biliary dilation, bile duct dilatation.

What is biliary dilatation?

Bile is a substance that helps with digestion, and it travels from the gallbladder to the intestines to help in this process via the bile ducts. If the bile ducts are too narrow, they can be opened up through a process known as biliary dilatation.

What happens during the procedure?

  • A needle is inserted into the bile duct, guided by ultrasound.
  • Once in place, a thin wire with a balloon on it is passed through the needle.
  • The needle is removed, and the balloon is inflated to open up the bile duct.
  • A catheter is also placed in the bile duct in order to collect excess bile that drains from the duct.

Is any special preparation needed?

You’ll need to avoid food, drink and certain medications for a set period of time before the procedure.

What are the risk factors?

Bleeding, infection, allergic reactions, leakage of bile or the puncturing of surround tissues and organs are all potential risks of biliary dilatation.


Reviewed by: Carrie Firestone Baum, MD

This page was last updated on: April 22, 2021 09:25 AM

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