A Biliary Stent (also known as "bile duct stent”) is a tube designed to help fluids to drain in the normal way from the liver to the intestine.
If fluid does not drain through the stent you might become sick. This Stent might become blocked over time
For various reasons your stent might become blocked after some time. This is normal but it is important for you to know when it blocks so that you do not become sick as a result of the blockage.
The bile duct is a tiny tube that drains bile, an acidic liquid that helps the body break down fats found in foods, from the liver to the small intestine.
The pancreatic duct is also a tiny tube that drains pancreatic juice, a liquid which is neutralizes gastric acids coming from the stomach.
Like any organ, cancer can develop in the bilio-pancreatic ducts. The layer of cells that line the inside of the ducts can become cancerous. In the bile duct, this condition is known as Aden carcinoma or Cholangiocarcinoma and pancreatic cancer in the pancreas.
As the cancer grows, the ducts can narrow, causing the liver or pancreas to malfunction. Patients may develop jaundice, lose weight and suffer from feelings of itchiness all over their bodies.
Traditionally, doctors have used a combination of imaging techniques such as a CT scan or an MRI, blood tests, endoscopy and even exploratory surgery to diagnose the condition. The endoscopic procedure is called ERCP for Endoscopic Retrograde cholangiopancreatography.
The diagnosis of biliary stricture of unknown cause has been an elusive goal for many decades. A majority of patients with bilio-pancreatic strictures still do not have a final diagnosis after an ERCP procedure.
If your stent does block you should go to the hospital immediately and inform them that you have been fitted with a bile duct stent.