Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangiogram (PTHC)/ Biliary Drainage Catheter / Stent Placement

In performing percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTHC), an Interventional Radiologist injects contrast into the intrahepatic biliary system by placing a needle into the liver. During the exam, a thin needle is inserted through the skin (percutaneous) and through the liver (transhepatic) into a bile duct. Then dye is injected, and the bile duct system is outlined on x-rays (cholangiography). This allows assessment for any blockage within the intra or extrahepatic biliary system due to stones, cancer, or infection. Bile can also be obtained for laboratory analysis. An internal/external plastic stent may be placed within the biliary system to facilitate bile drainage. Depending on the patient's overall prognosis/condition, a metal stent may be placed to keep the biliary system open.