A bile duct is a long, tube-like structure that carries bile. There are a number of them in the body.  Bile is required for the proper digestion of food.  It is secreted by the liver into passages that move bile to the hepatic. The gallbladder stores bile until it is needed to digest fat. Then the gallbladder moves the bile into the bile ducts. They carry the bile to the small intestine. Certain diseases can block the bile ducts, which causes problems with the flow of bile. Gallstones are a common cause of blocked bile ducts. Blocked bile ducts can also be the result of infection, cancer or internal scar tissue. Scarring can block bile ducts.  This can lead to liver failure. Biliary atresia is a rare form of bile duct disease, and occurs in infants. It is the leading reason for liver transplants for children in the United States.

Treatments and Therapies