Biliary Diseases

Your liver produces bile, which helps with digestion. The gallbladder stores the bile until you eat. With food the bile is pushed into tubes called bile ducts which carry your bile to the small intestine.

There are a variety of diseases of your bile ducts and gall bladder. Gallstones can cause pain when the gallbladder contracts down upon stones. Gallstones are also the most common cause of blockages of bile ducts. Other causes of blockage include cancers of the bile duct and strictures or scars that narrow the ducts. Less common causes include primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cirrhosis which are auto immune inflammatory conditions that cause inflammation in the bile duct walls.


Bile duct diseases may lead to:

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Itching
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Nausea and vomiting