A percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTCA) is an x-ray of the bile ducts. These are the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine.
PTCA; Cholangiogram - PTCA; PTC; PBD-Precutaneous Biliary drainage
How the Test is Performed
The test is performed in a radiology department by a radiologist.
You will be asked to lie on your back on the x-ray table. The provider will clean the upper right and middle area of your belly area and then apply a numbing medicine.
X-rays are used to help the health care provider locate your liver and bile ducts. A long, thin, flexible needle is then inserted through the skin into the liver. The provider injects dye, called contrast medium, into the bile ducts. Contrast helps highlight certain areas so they can be seen. More x-rays are taken as the dye flows through the bile ducts into the small intestine. This can be seen on a nearby video monitor.
You will be given medicine to calm you (sedation) for this procedure.