Ellen J Hagopian, MD, FACS

Gallbladder, Bile Duct Cancer and Diseases

The most common disorder of the biliary tree is gallstones (cholelithasis). Gallstones typically form in the gallbladder, but may also originate in the bile ducts. Gallstones in the gallbladder and/or in the bile ducts may result in pain (biliary colic), infection (cholecystitis, cholangitis), or even inflammation of the pancreas (gallstone pancreatitis). Gallstones located in the gallbladder, if indicated, can be removed with the gallbladder through small incision surgery (laparoscopy). Gallstones may pass into or even originate in the bile duct, and it is important to determine this.

The gallbladder cancer and bile duct cancer (also called cholangiocarcinoma) can be difficult to diagnose.  Surgery, if possible, is the mainstay of therapy.  For gallbladder cancer, surgery involves removal of the gallbladder with a portion of liver and, if involved, a portion of bile duct.  Removal of the bile duct including the tumor with or without a portion of the liver (or even pancreas) is necessary for optimal treatment of bile duct cancer.


Gallbladder cancer
Bile Duct cancer

Informational Sheets: Videos:
Alcohol and Liver Disease Meet Dr Hagopian
Sensible drinking Liver Cancer: Armenian Radio Hour
Gallstones Liver Cancer Prevention
Primary Liver Cancer Liver Cancer Patient Experience
Metastatic Liver Cancer  
Pancreas Cancer  
Gallbladder Cancer  
Bile Duct Cancer