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What is a biliary leak?
A biliary leak occurs when bile leaks out of any of the ducts that transport bile to the small intestine. Bile is made in the liver and secreted to help digest fats. Bile is made in the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and emptied into the small intestine via the common hepatic, cystic, and common bile ducts. When bile leaks out of the bile ducts, the surrounding area becomes painfully inflamed and can get infected.
- Gallbladder surgery
- Liver operations
- Injury to the bile ducts
- Abdominal pain in the right upper quadrant
- Nausea and vomiting
- Jaundice (yellowing skin)
In addition to a history and physical examination, some of the following tests will be performed:
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Abdominal CT scan
- Cholescintigraphy, which involves injecting a radioactive tracer into a vein and following its path through the bile ducts to the gallbladder and small intestine
- Blood and urine bilirubin levels
- Liver enzyme tests
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For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our IR physicians, please call 310-481-7545.