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What are the symptoms of a torn bile duct?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology

The main symptoms would be abdominal pain and enlargement. The pain and swelling are caused by leakage of bile into the belly, which is very irritating. Yellow coloration of the urine and skin (Jaundice) can occur after several days.

The most common cause of a torn bile duct is an injury (biliary trauma):

  • A complication following surgery to remove the gall bladder, which is more common after the gall bladder is removed with a scope (laparoscopic cholecystectomy) than with open abdominal surgery
  • Blunt injury to the lower right side of the chest and/or upper right abdomen, such as by the steering wheel in a car accident or a fall
  • Penetrating injury to these locations, such as with a bullet or knife

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.