The common bile duct connects the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas to the small intestine. This collects the juices secreted from the respective organs and aids in digestion through a various number of enzymes.
Stones that are specific to gall are formed at the juncture i.e. The the common bile duct. Usually the stones either pass through or dissolve in the acids. Sometimes due to excessive size and number, these stones accumulate at in the bile duct. If the gallstones are obstructed in at the common duct, i.e. the junction where the bile enters the duodenum, it can cause a lot of problems. Though most of them erode by time, some lead to fatal issues.
The foremost thing is the improper flow of bile juice which damages the liver and its functions. It can also lead to bacterial infections which can ultimately result in biliary cirrhosis and pancreatitis. Once the bilirubin enters the blood, it can result in a severe jaundice. The duct stones might also lead to issues like acute suppurative cholangitis, obstructive jaundice, hepatic abscess, and acute pancreatitis.
Severe pain near the abdominal cavity is the major symptom. The severe pain may be confused as a heart attack. The change of skin color to pale yellow and fever also account for this issue.
The damage can be diagnosed by an abdominal CT scan. Increased levels of bile pigments in the blood is also a significant sign. A trans-abdominal ultrascopy can also be used.
A minor laparoscopic surgery called Common Bile Duct Exploration or CBD exploration is the best solution to terminate the problem. The surgery is done is in a day and the patient can be recover gradually in a week. The doctor makes a cut in at the abdomen and holds the diaphragm with stenches. The gall bladder is then lifted and held while a small incision is made at in the common bile duct. The dye is usually a fluoroscopy which illuminates the solid stone. The doctor will then runs an X ray and finds the location, size and the number of stones. Once that is done, the cut is widened and an extractor is sent inside the duct. Either the flushing through saline or balloon extradition is used to remove the stone/s.
The surgery helps in the removal of the obstruction and thereby soothing the flow of bile juice into the duct and to Duodenum. A T- pipe might be stuck out to the skin for a week for flushing the stagnant liver fluids and bile juice. The tube is connected to a bag outside to collect the residual fluids. Once the stones are once removed, the bile duct is usually healed in a week. The surgery is of utmost importance as the stones might affect the function of pancreas which might disturb a lot of crucial functions of the body.
The removal of gall stones cannot prevent further formation of new ones. If persistent, the doctor might suggest in removing of the gall bladder for precautionary purposes. A change in Llifestyle towards moderate physical activity and consumption of fiber-rich nutrition can prevent the stones to some extent.