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.
Review Date 4/7/2018
Updated by: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.