If your bile duct becomes blocked or moves out of place, you may have pain in your belly and feel sick (nausea). A stent is a small tube made of plastic or metal that opens the bile duct so bile can flow into the duodenum and intestine. This lets you digest food and absorb nutrients. A stent can be removed and replaced as needed. Sometimes a stent can become inflamed, which causes jaundice and other symptoms. You should see your doctor straight away if you have these symptoms.
A stent is put in during a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). It is done to find the source of a blockage. To do this, the doctor injects dye into your bile duct and watches it with x-rays. They also use a long needle to insert the stent through the skin and liver into the bile duct. This is called percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC).
Before having this procedure, you need to fast for 6 hours. You will then have a drug that makes you sleepy or relaxes you before the doctor puts the stent in. You will stay in hospital for 1-2 days.
For this procedure, Mr T had general anesthesia. A thin lighted tube called an endoscope was inserted through his mouth, into his stomach and down to the spot where the bile duct drains into the duodenum. A tube called a catheter was then inserted through the endoscope to go to the spot where the bile drained from the stent. The stent was then removed using various tools such as basket catheter, snare, balloon catheter, grasping forceps or a stent retriever.