About 15% of people with gallstones will develop stones in the common bile duct. The common bile duct is a small tube that carries bile from the gallbladder to the duodenum. Obstruction of the common bile duct causes jaundice and other problems. It may also lead to obstruction of the pancreatic duct because these ducts are usually connected. If the pancreatic duct is also obstructed, pancreatitis will likely develop.
Reviewed last on: 6/3/2008
Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.