Post-Hepatic Jaundice: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Post-hepatic jaundice, also known as obstructive jaundice, occurs when there is a blockage in the bile ducts, which prevents the liver from excreting bile and bilirubin into the intestines. As a result, bilirubin accumulates in the body, causing yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark urine, and pale stools. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for post-hepatic jaundice.

Causes of Post-Hepatic Jaundice

Post-hepatic jaundice is caused by a blockage in the bile ducts, which can be due to various reasons, including:

  1. Gallstones: Gallstones are a common cause of post-hepatic jaundice. These are hard, pebble-like deposits that form in the gallbladder and can obstruct the bile ducts.
  2. Pancreatic cancer: Tumors in the pancreas can block the bile ducts, leading to post-hepatic jaundice.
  3. Bile duct cancer: Tumors in the bile ducts can also cause a blockage and lead to post-hepatic jaundice.
  4. Inflammation: Inflammation of the bile ducts, such as from infections or autoimmune disorders, can cause swelling and narrowing, leading to a blockage.
  5. Scarring: Scarring of the bile ducts, such as from previous surgeries or injuries, can also cause a blockage.

Symptoms of Post-Hepatic Jaundice

The main symptom of post-hepatic jaundice is yellowing of the skin and eyes, which is caused by the accumulation of bilirubin in the body. Other symptoms may include:

  1. Dark urine: Bilirubin can cause urine to become dark in color.
  2. Pale stools: Bilirubin can also cause stools to become pale in color.
  3. Abdominal pain: In some cases, post-hepatic jaundice can cause abdominal pain, especially if it is caused by gallstones or other blockages.
  4. Fatigue: The buildup of toxins in the body can cause fatigue, weakness, and general malaise.
  5. Itching: Bilirubin accumulation in the skin can cause itching.

Treatment of Post-Hepatic Jaundice

The treatment of post-hepatic jaundice depends on the underlying cause. In most cases, the goal of treatment is to remove the obstruction and restore bile flow. Treatment options may include:

  1. Surgery: In cases of gallstones or tumors, surgery may be necessary to remove the obstruction and restore bile flow.
  2. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): This is a procedure that uses a specialized endoscope to examine the bile ducts and remove any obstructions.
  3. Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC): This is a procedure that uses a needle to access the bile ducts through the skin and remove any obstructions.
  4. Stent placement: In some cases, a small tube called a stent may be placed in the bile ducts to help keep them open and restore bile flow.

Prevention of Post-Hepatic Jaundice

Post-hepatic jaundice can often be prevented by managing the underlying conditions that can cause it. This includes:

  1. Maintaining a healthy weight: Obesity is a risk factor for gallstones, so maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent their formation.
  2. Avoiding alcohol and drugs: Alcohol
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