Gallstones in the bile duct are known as bile duct stones. They might begin in the gallbladder and move into the bile duct, or they might originate directly in the bile duct. The stones may get stuck in the bile duct and cause a blockage. Gallstones and bile duct stones (sometimes called choledocholithiasis) are the same thing; they just happen to be in different part of the body. Stones may pass out of the bile duct spontaneously. According to Dr. Sanjoy Mandal, a renowned gastro surgeon in Kolkata, when a stone becomes trapped in the bile duct, however, medical attention is required; otherwise, inflammation, bacterial infection, and even severe organ damage can happen.
Signs and Symptoms
Bile duct stones often have no symptoms until they form a blockage in the bile duct. The following, as listed by the best gastroenterology surgeon in Kolkata, are examples of symptoms:
- Abdominal pain and discomfort (can occur irregularly, lasting for hours every time)
Diagnosis of Bile Duct Stones
Bile duct stones can often be seen on an ultrasound or a CT scan, but they’re best detected by one of these two methods, says the gastroenterology surgeon:
- MRCP (Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography): This advanced imaging technology, which is a form of MRI, generates extremely detailed images of the bile ducts, as well as the liver, gall bladder, and pancreas.
- EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasound): It helps examine the digestive tract using a small, flexible tube called an endoscope that is passed through the mouth. Sound waves are generated by the ultrasound portion, which generate detailed images.
Bile Duct Stones Treatment
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a minimally invasive treatment that combines x-ray and upper endoscopy—an examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract that includes the stomach, oesophagus, and duodenum – with the use of an endoscope, which is a lighted, flexible tube as thick as a finger. The gastrointestinal surgeon in Kolkata inserts the tube into the duodenum and injects a contrast dye into the bile ducts, which may then be seen on an x-ray. To extract the stones, special tools can be directed via the endoscope.
This technique involves collecting and crushing a larger bile duct stone in a wire “basket” that is placed through the endoscope. After the stones have been pulverised, they are retrieved through the endoscope using the special equipment.
Intraductal Electrohydraulic Lithotripsy
A very fine probe is inserted through a tiny scope that is passed through the ERCP endoscope for this treatment. The probe, which is powered by a generator, sends a shock wave through the stone, breaking it up. After the stones have been pulverised, they are retrieved through the endoscope using the special equipment.