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Endoscopic Biliary Stenting


Endoscopic biliary stenting is procedure to open a blocked bile duct. A stent is a small cylinder-shaped tube that widens your bile duct and keeps it open. Your body stores bile in your gall bladder. Bile passes through your bile duct and is released into your intestines when you eat.


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Pre-op care: You may be given medicine in your IV right before your procedure. This medicine may help you relax or make you sleepy. You may also get antibiotic medicine to prevent an infection after your procedure.
  • Local anesthesia: This is medicine used to numb your throat. You may still feel pressure or pushing in your throat during the procedure, but you should not feel pain. Local anesthesia may also help prevent you from coughing and gagging when the endoscope is placed in your throat.
  • You may need extra oxygen if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. Ask your healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.
  • A pulse oximeter is a device that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. A cord with a clip or sticky strip is placed on your finger, ear, or toe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine.

During your procedure:

  • You will be placed on your side for this procedure. You will get anesthesia medicine to help you relax and make you drowsy. Your throat may also be numbed with anesthesia medicine. An endoscope will be put into your mouth and down your throat. The scope will be moved slowly down into your stomach and small intestine until it reaches your bile duct. A camera at the end of the endoscope will let your healthcare provider see the inside of your stomach and intestines.
  • Your healthcare provider will use fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray) and a contrast dye to see your bile duct more clearly. The dye will also help your healthcare provider see if you have gallstones, tumors, or narrowing of your bile duct. Fluoroscopy will also help your healthcare provider place your stent. A thin wire will be put through the scope and deep in your bile duct. Your healthcare provider will slide the stent over the wire to the area of your blockage. Once the stent is in place, the wire and endoscope will be removed. A sample of your bile duct tissue may be removed and sent to a lab for testing. A portion of your bile duct may also be removed if it is causing part of your blockage. An x-ray of your abdomen may be taken to check the position of the stent.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room where you will rest until you are fully awake. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken back to your hospital room.


  • The endoscope or wire used may tear your stomach or bowel wall and cause bleeding. The stent may become clogged or blocked by a growing tumor, thickened bile, or gallstones. The stent may also loosen and move out of place, causing a blockage. The stent may also cause swelling of other organs, such as your pancreas and gallbladder. If your bile duct is damaged, it may leak bile fluid into your abdomen and increase your risk for a life-threatening infection.
  • Even with stent placement, you may have further narrowing of your bile duct. Without biliary stenting, your condition may get worse. Your symptoms, such as jaundice and itchy skin, may become severe. Your liver may become damaged from the blockage and not function correctly. Your gallbladder may rupture if you have gallstones or pressure from too much bile. This may increase your risk for a serious, life-threatening infection.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.