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Bile Duct Diseases

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Bile duct diseases obstruct, or block, the flow of digestive juices (bile) made in the liver that break down the food we eat. Obstruction happens in the biliary tract, or the ducts that direct the bile from the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas to the small intestine. This causes toxins to back up and damage the liver.

Stones in the gallbladder that dislodge into the biliary tract is the most common cause of a blockage. Others include bile duct cancer (called cholangiocarcinoma) or scarring from infections, surgery, or inflammation.

The liver specialists at the University of Miami Health System treat all types of bile duct diseases, including chronic (ongoing) and complex conditions, such as:

  • Congenital biliary development disorders: liver disease that’s present at birth (congenital) due to malformations or defects in the biliary tract. These include biliary atresia and fibropolycystic disease.

  • Primary biliary cirrhosis: inflammation and destruction of the bile ducts that causes irreversible liver scarring (called cirrhosis). It’s more common in women and is associated with autoimmune diseases (overactive immune system that attacks healthy cells by mistake).

  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis: inflammation in the bile duct walls (called cholangitis) that leads to hardening (called sclerosis) and narrowing. It’s associated with bacterial infections and is common in men with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

If you have symptoms of a bile duct disease, such as fatigue, greasy stools, itchy skin, weight loss, or abdominal pain in the upper right side, make an appointment with one of our hepatologists (liver specialists). We can diagnose your condition and get you on the road to healing.

Why Choose UHealth?

Researching breakthroughs in biliary duct diseases. We’re actively conducting clinical trial research for new and safer medicines for treating biliary duct diseases. We bring what we learn to you, faster.

Hepatologists trained in GI endoscopy procedures. With hepatologists trained in gastroenterology (GI) procedures, you get comprehensive care without seeing multiple specialists. We can diagnose gastrointestinal complications related to liver diseases, reducing the time it takes for treatments to begin.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Treatments

  • Interventional Radiology Techniques

    Interventional radiology procedures , like percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC), use image-guided technology to drain biliary fluids., like percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC).

  • Medicine Therapy

    Your doctor may prescribe medications to treat the cause of the biliary obstruction, such as infections, inflammation, or autoimmune disorders. Medicines can also improve symptoms like itchy skin.

  • Surgery

    Hepatobiliary surgery for bile duct diseases depends on the condition. Procedures include minimally invasive and open techniques to remove, repair, or temporarily work around what’s obstructing normal flow.

  • Transplant

    If your condition is advanced or doesn’t respond well to medicine therapy or surgery, a liver transplant may be an option.


Tests

  • Advanced Diagnostic Imaging

    Medical imaging such as abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans show blood flow, size, structure, and function of the liver and surrounding organs.

  • Biopsy

    A liver biopsy is a small tissue sample taken from a needle for analysis at a lab. Liver biopsies are performed using ultrasound imaging to guide the needle to the right place.

  • Cholangiography

    Cholangiography is an X-ray with a dye contrast injected in the veins (called intravenous, or IV) or in the liver to view the bile duct structures.

  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

    ERCP combines X-ray and endoscopy (a thin, flexible tube with a light at the tip) inserted through the mouth and throat. A contrast dye is injected to identify problems with the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract, and pancreas.

  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)

    EUS uses endoscopy inserted through the mouth and stomach into the small intestine to view internal structures.

  • Lab Tests

    Some of the urine and blood tests that help detect bile duct diseases and complications include liver function studies, cellular blood counts, electrolytes, and autoimmune antibodies.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry First Health PPO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Seasons Hospice
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care