Bile duct leaks can be categorised into three different types, based on their causes:
- Postoperative leaks: These leaks occur because of surgical procedures involving the bile ducts. They are most commonly caused by injury to the bile duct during surgery or by a surgical error. Postoperative bile duct leaks typically occur within the first week after surgery, although they can occur up to several weeks later.
- Traumatic leaks: Traumatic bile duct leaks occur because of physical trauma to the abdomen, such as a car accident or a fall. They can also be caused using medical devices, such as a catheter, during a medical procedure.
Spontaneous leaks: Spontaneous bile duct leaks occur without any apparent cause, although they are often associated with underlying medical conditions, such as liver disease or gallstones.