Biliary Obstruction Specialists

Illinois Gastroenterology Group -  - Gastroenterology

Illinois Gastroenterology Group

Gastroenterology located in Elgin, IL, South Elgin, IL & Lake In The Hills, IL

Biliary obstruction can have serious, life-threatening complications, but the right treatment can protect your digestive health. The gastroenterologists of Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Elgin, Illinois, offer advanced diagnostic testing and treatments for biliary obstruction, including cholecystectomy. Rest assured if you’re dealing with biliary obstruction, the Illinois Gastroenterology Group offers solutions to relieve any associated symptoms. Simply book online or call Illinois Gastroenterology Group today.

Biliary Obstruction Q & A

What is Biliary Obstruction?

A blockage of the bile ducts is called biliary obstruction. Your bile ducts carry bile from your liver to your gallbladder and through your pancreas to your duodenum, a part of your small intestine.

Bile is a yellowish-brown or dark-green fluid secreted by your liver to help you digest fats. After you eat, your gallbladder releases bile to assist with digestion and fat absorption. Bile also helps clear your liver of waste products.

If any of your bile ducts are obstructed it’s called a biliary obstruction.

What are the Symptoms of Biliary Obstruction?

The symptoms of biliary obstruction depend on what’s causing the obstruction. If you have a biliary obstruction, you might have:

  • Light-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice (yellowish skin or eyes)
  • Itching
  • Pain and tenderness on the upper right part of your abdomen
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Fever

Without proper treatment, biliary duct obstructions can lead to complications like:

  • Dangerous buildup of bilirubin
  • Sepsis
  • Infections
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Biliary cirrhosis

Some complications can be life-threatening.

What Causes Biliary Obstruction?

Biliary obstruction can be caused by a number of things involving your:

  • Liver
  • Bile ducts
  • Gallbladder
  • Pancreas
  • Small intestine

Some of the most common causes of biliary obstruction include:

  • Gallstones
  • Bile duct inflammation
  • Trauma
  • Biliary stricture (abnormal narrowing of the duct)
  • Cysts
  • Pancreatitis
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Injury related to liver or gallbladder surgery
  • Tumors of the gallbladder, pancreas, liver, or bile ducts
  • Infections, including hepatitis
  • Parasites
  • Cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver


Severe liver damage can also lead to biliary obstruction.

How is Biliary Obstruction Treated?

To diagnose biliary obstruction, your Illinois Gastroenterology Group provider usually suggests various procedures like blood work, a sonogram (ultrasound), an MRI, or an X-ray of your bile ducts.

Your provider might recommend an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a test involving the use of an endoscope and an X-ray. This same procedure can be used to take biopsies (tissue samples), to place a stent inside your duct to restore bile flow, or to remove stones if stones are the cause of your biliary obstruction.

The goal is always to ease or eliminate the blockage.

Your provider could also recommend a surgical treatment like cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder) if gallstones are present. In some cases, surgery can be used to bypass the blockage.

Your provider might prescribe antibiotics if an infection is suspected. 

Fortunately, the Illinois Gastroenterology Group team are experts at diagnosing and treating biliary obstruction. Call the office or simply book online today.