What are the treatment options for biliary obstruction?

Updated: Oct 16, 2019
  • Author: Jennifer Lynn Bonheur, MD; Chief Editor: Vinay Kumar Kapoor, MBBS, MS, FRCS, FAMS  more...
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Admit the patient for prompt necessary diagnostic testing, supportive care, and surgical intervention if indicated. Transfer may be required for further diagnostic evaluation and treatment.

Treatment of the underlying cause is the objective of the medical treatment of biliary obstruction. Do not subject patients to surgery until the diagnosis is clear. Thus, make every effort to visualize the biliary tree in patients who are jaundiced, with appropriate use of noninvasive and invasive techniques. Importantly, however, a delay in moving on to more invasive therapeutic modalities in a patient who does not initially respond to medical and supportive care increases the risks of an adverse outcome (see Workup).

Consultations with a gastroenterologist, radiologist, and general surgeon are recommended.

Following discharge, monitor patients regularly to ensure that they respond to treatment and that the diagnosis is correct.

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