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Biliary interventions are interventional radiology procedures that treat blockages of the bile duct. Bile ducts connect the liver to the intestine and the liver to the gallbladder. When bile ducts are blocked due to gallstones, congenital defects or other issues, bile that is produced in the liver cannot be passed to the intestine, and your body is not able to digest fat in foods. This can result in jaundice and other conditions.
Interventional radiology techniques allow placement of biliary stents or drainage tubes through a tiny incision. The interventional radiologist uses live imaging (X-ray and ultrasound) to precisely guide the stent or tube to the correct location.
The most common biliary interventions are:
A biliary intervention includes the following steps:
Every three months, your child must come back to have the old drainage tube exchanged for a new one. The procedure allows the doctor to examine the site of the tube and reduces the chance of clogging or infection.
Like all procedures, biliary interventions have a few risks. Sometimes a child has bleeding where the drainage tube comes out of the body. In rare cases, infection is possible, or a child may be allergic to the dye used during the procedure. Damage to nearby organs (such as the liver or lungs) is also possible.
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