Benefits vs. Risks of a Biliary Intervention

Biliary Intervention Benefits

  • For PTC and related procedures no surgical incision is needed—only a small nick in the skin that does not have to be stitched closed.
  • The additional risks of open surgery are avoided.
  • The period of hospitalization in general is less than for open surgery.
  • Recovery time is significantly shorter than open surgery.

Biliary Intervention Risks

  • Any procedure where the skin is penetrated carries a risk of infection. The chance of infection requiring antibiotic treatment appears to be less than one in 1,000.
  • There is a very slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast material is injected.
  • There is a small risk of bleeding related to the procedure. If this occurs, this is almost always self limiting. If treatment becomes necessary, this can almost always be achieved with arterial embolization, a minimally invasive technique.
  • There is a very small risk of organ damage, such as bowel perforation.