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A percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram, or PTC, is an X-ray of the bile ducts (also called the biliary ducts). Radiologists and other doctors use the images to determine if the ducts are underdeveloped or blocked. If the ducts are blocked, the doctor may place a drainage catheter. PTC is sometimes performed at the same time as a liver biopsy.
Bile is a substance that helps digest fats. It is made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. After meals, it is excreted into the intestines via the bile ducts.
Using ultrasound and live X-ray (fluoroscopy) for guidance, the radiologist will insert a small needle through the skin and liver and into one of the bile ducts. Then the radiologist will inject X-ray dye into the ducts and X-ray images will be obtained. Your child will be protected by an X-ray shield during this procedure.
No. We will use either IV sedation or general anesthesia so that your child isn’t awake.
The procedure is considered low risk. However, potential complications include:
Some children feel pain or discomfort at the needle-insertion site, usually in the first day or two after the procedure. You may give over-the-counter pain medication.
Leave the bandage on for 48 hours. Then you may remove the clear bandage and gauze; do not remove the Steri-Strips® (white strips). If a drainage catheter was placed, it will be secured with a locking device (StatLock®) which must not be removed.
Keep the site completely dry for the first 48 hours. After 48 hours, your child may shower or have a sponge bath, but you should continue to keep the area dry. Do not submerge the site in water (bath or pool) until the Steri-Strips have fallen off.