Biliary stricture or a bile duct stricture is a condition where the bile duct narrows due to the presence of scar tissues in the body. There are many reasons for scar tissue formation – bile duct surgery, stone in the bile duct or exposure of the abdominal area to radiation.
This condition can be either malignant or benign. In some cases, the presence of a tumour in the gallbladder can narrow the bile ducts.
Signs of biliary stricture –
Bile ducts are very small. Because their diameter ranges from 4-10 millimetres, they can easily be blocked by scar tissue. The symptoms are similar to other disorders of the bile duct, where the bile duct is blocked. This stops it from releasing bile into the intestine.
The symptoms may take a while before they become obvious. In fact, they may take several years as scar tissue takes time to develop.
The common signs are –
Stomach pain, especially on the right side
Your skin and eyes turn yellow
The stools are light coloured
Besides this, the biliary stricture can also cause organ inflammation. Liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are the most vulnerable ones in this regard. It can also lead to low blood pressure and sepsis (infection of the blood).
The link between jaundice and biliary stricture
Because biliary stricture blocks bile ducts, the level of bile in the blood can increase. This may happen because the bile won’t follow its normal route - from the liver to the intestine. Hence jaundice might occur.
Treatment depends on the cause of the ailment. ERCP, EUS, MRCP have a very important role for evaluation and management. Apart from this, you will also need to adopt certain self-care practices such as alcohol avoidance, proper hydration, and adhering to strict dietary guidelines.