PTC (percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography)

This procedure may be used to take an x-ray picture of the bile duct. It may also be used to take a biopsy (get a sample of tissue) from the tumour.

As with ERCP a relaxing sedative is given, and then an area on the right side of the abdomen is numbed with a local anaesthetic injection. A thin needle is then passed through the skin into the liver, and dye injected into the bile duct within the liver. X-rays are then taken to see if there is any abnormality or blockage of the duct.

Antibiotics are given before and after the procedure to help prevent infection, and an overnight stay in hospital is usual.

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