Percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage

Last revised by Dr Mostafa El-Feky on 22 Dec 2021

Percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage, also known as percutaneous transhepatic cholangial drainage (PTCD), is an interventional radiology procedure undertaken for those with biliary obstruction. 

It is almost exclusively performed in those with a malignant obstruction, such as cholangiocarcinoma, ampullary and pancreatic malignancies when retrograde access via endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is not amenable.

It is commonly undertaken as part of a palliative biliary stent insertion. Rarely, it is used in the treatment of benign strictures.

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