One method of relieving a blockage of the bile duct due to pancreatic tumors is the placement of a stent, a device designed to hold tube-shaped structures open. An endoscope (an instrument placed down the throat into the esophagus, through the stomach to the duodenum of the small intestine) helps the surgeon to see the blockage and to place the stent in the correct position. Dye may be injected and X-ray images taken to insure the stent is correctly placed and the flow of bile is restored.
Update Date 8/1/2015
Updated by: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.