What is the definition of Bile Duct Stricture?

A bile duct stricture is an abnormal narrowing of the common bile duct. This is a tube that moves bile from the liver to the small intestine. Bile is a substance that helps with digestion.

What are the alternative names for Bile Duct Stricture?

Bile duct stricture; Biliary stricture

What are the causes for Bile Duct Stricture?

A bile duct stricture is often caused by injury to the bile ducts during surgery. For example, it may occur after surgery to remove the gallbladder.

Other causes of this condition include:

  • Cancer of the bile duct, liver or pancreas
  • Damage and scarring due to a gallstone in the bile duct
  • Damage or scarring after gallbladder removal
  • Pancreatitis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

What are the symptoms for Bile Duct Stricture?

Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain on the upper right side of belly
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Itching
  • General feeling of discomfort
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pale or clay-colored stools

What are the current treatments for Bile Duct Stricture?

The goal of treatment is to correct the narrowing. This will allow bile to flow from the liver into the intestine.

This may involve:

  • Surgery
  • Endoscopic or percutaneous dilation or insertion of stents through the stricture

If surgery is done, the stricture is removed. The common bile duct will be rejoined with the small intestine.

In some cases, a tiny metal or plastic mesh tube (stent) is placed across the bile duct stricture to keep it open.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Bile Duct Stricture?

Treatment is successful most of the time. Long-term success depends on the cause of the stricture.

What are the possible complications for Bile Duct Stricture?

Inflammation and narrowing of the biliary duct may return in some people. There is a risk for infection above the narrowed area. Strictures that remain for a long period can lead to liver damage (cirrhosis).

When should I contact a medical professional for Bile Duct Stricture?

Call your health care provider if symptoms recur after pancreatitis, cholecystectomy, or other biliary surgery.



Anstee QM, Jones DEJ. Hepatology. In: Ralston SH, Penman ID, Strachan MWJ, Hobson RP, eds. Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 22.

Fogel EL, Sherman S. Diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 146.

Ibrahim-zada I, Ahrendt SA. Management of benign biliary strictures. In: Cameron AM, Cameron JL, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 462-466.

Jackson PG, Evans SRT. Biliary system. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 54.

  • Condition: Obstructive Jaundice
  • Journal: The Nigerian postgraduate medical journal
  • Treatment Used: Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography
  • Number of Patients: 177
  • Published —
In this study, researchers evaluated the outcomes of undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography for the treatment of obstructive jaundice.
  • Condition: Iatrogenic Bile Duct Injury (BDI)
  • Journal: Cirugia y cirujanos
  • Treatment Used: Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Hepaticojejunostomy Reconstruction
  • Number of Patients: 20
  • Published —
This study evaluated laparoscopic Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy reconstruction after iatrogenic (caused by treatment) bile duct injury (BDI).
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Enrolling by invitation
  • Intervention Type: Other
  • Participants: 40
  • Start Date: May 10, 2019
Volumetric Laser Endomicroscopy's (VLE) Diagnostic Accuracy Validation Study: Impact on Clinical Management Study
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Procedure
  • Participants: 60
  • Start Date: July 20, 2018
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography Versus Endoscopic Ultrasound Guided Biliary Drainage in Inoperable Malignant Distal Bile Duct Obstruction