How We Can Help
Malignant Bile Duct Obstruction Treatment Information
IU Health provides these procedures and services for diagnosis and treatment of malignant bile obstruction:
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). This procedure uses an endoscope (small, flexible tube with light) and X-rays to examine the upper digestive tract, including the bile duct. When you undergo ERCP, you are sedated with anesthesia. The procedure typically takes 15 to 60 minutes. A physician moves the endoscope down your throat, into your esophagus, through your stomach, and to the start of your small intestine. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Various tools can pass through the endoscope, allowing treatment to be performed during the procedure.
- Stent placement. During ERCP, your physician places a stent (a small plastic or metal tube) in the bile duct to keep the duct open. This procedure involves first dilating (expanding) the bile duct by inflating a small balloon. The treatment relieves jaundice by allowing bile to flow into the small intestine. The stent may need to be replaced a few months later if it becomes clogged.
- Photodynamic therapy. ERCP can be used to deliver palliative photodynamic therapy to patients with bile duct cancer that cannot be surgically removed. You first receive an injection of a drug called a photosynthesizer. When the photosynthesizer is exposed to a certain wavelength of light, it produces a type of oxygen that kills cells. Your physician shines light on the tumor within a few days of giving you the injection. This treatment may help control tumors, but it is not expected to cure the cancer.
- Radiofrequency ablation. This treatment, which can be performed during ERCP, involves inserting a needle into the tumor to deliver high-frequency electrical energy. The heat destroys cancer cells. Radiofrequency ablation is not considered curative, but it may help control tumor growth and symptoms.
Malignant Bile Duct Obstruction Locations & Physicians
Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.
Find a Specialist
Enter a Zip Code to find a specialist at IU Health.
Malignant Bile Duct Obstruction Support Services
Visit these websites to learn more about malignant bile duct obstruction:
A Sampling of Malignant Bile Duct Obstruction Support Services
Indiana University School of Medicine Gastroenterology ERCP website
This site offers in-depth information for patients about endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), including links to other resources.
Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
This institute allows you to search for Indiana clinical research studies where you might be qualified to participate.
American Cancer Society
The website of this nonprofit organization includes information on bile duct cancer risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
This United States government website explains bile duct obstruction in patient-friendly terms