Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Biliary Abscess Overview

What is a biliary abscess?
A person with a biliary abscess has a localized infection in the bile ducts within the liver, common bile duct, or gallbladder. A biliary abscess is formed by a collection of pus that is composed of infected tissue and white blood cells. Biliary abscesses are caused by a bacterial infection. Risk factors for a biliary abscess include gallstones, gallbladder disease, biliary stricture, bile duct tumors, cholangiocarcinoma, pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, ampullary carcinoma, cholangitis, abdominal injury, and prior abdominal surgery.

What are the symptoms of a biliary abscess?
Common symptoms of a biliary abscess include jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea, and fever.

How does the doctor treat a biliary abscess?
Treatment for a biliary abscess may include intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Definitive treatment will require that the abscess is drained. This may be accomplished using endoscopy, ERCP, or conventional surgery.

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