Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
This leaflet has been written to help you understand what obstructive jaundice is and how you will be treated.
This leaflet should answer all your questions, but if you need any further information or if you are unsure of anything, please ask the Doctor or Nurse that is caring for you.
What is obstructive jaundice?
Jaundice is a medical condition that results in yellowish discolouration of your skin and the white of your eyes.
If this has happened because of a blockage in your bile tube (the pipe that drains bile from your liver to your small bowel), it is called obstructive jaundice.
You may also have pale or light coloured stool (poo), dark urine and you may be itchy.
There are different causes of obstructive jaundice; some of them can be potentially serious.
What tests will I have?
You were recently admitted to hospital with jaundice and discharged from the hospital for investigations as an outpatient.
A member of the Acute Admissions Team will have assessed you and taken a careful history of your symptoms. You will then have had a clinical examination.
You will have some blood tests while you are on the ward. These tests will help the Doctors to find what is causing your jaundice.
You will also need to have some more investigations (CT scan or a MRI scan) that will be organised by the Acute Admissions Team and carried out as an outpatient.
You will be referred to the Upper Gastrointestinal (UGI) Specialist Nurses who will contact you and explain what is going to happen. They will also answer any questions you have.
What will happen during my scan?
A CT scan is an X-ray test that takes detailed images of the inside of your body. It is performed while you lie on a table.
The table passes through the CT scanner, which is a large doughnut shaped machine, you will pass through this hole while you lay on the table.
An MRI scan is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body.
An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. You will lie inside the tube during the scan.
How should I prepare for my scan?
You will receive a phone call with your appointment to attend the Medical Day Unit (MDU) at University Hospital of North Tees and get ready for your scan.
This ward can be found in the west wing of North Tees Hospital.
When you arrive, a Nurse will ask you a few questions and place a cannula (a small plastic tube) in the back of your hand or in your arm. This is for the contrast (dye) that is used for the scan.
After the scan, one of the specialist Nurses will come and talk to you before you go home. You will be given information on the follow up appointments that you need on discharge from the MDU.
If you have any questions you can contact the UGI Specialist Nurses.
What symptoms should I be worried about while I am waiting for the investigations, results or follow up appointments?
You may need hospital admission if you:
- feel generally unwell
- develop any fever, chills, shivering, confusion, flu like symptoms
- have worsening abdominal pain
- are unable to pass any urine.
If you have any concerns or need any advice, please see the contact numbers below.
UGI Specialist Nurses
Telephone: 01642 383987
Opening hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm (Monday to Friday)
The UGI specialist nurses are not available to speak outside these hours and on a weekend. If you are feeling unwell, you should attend the Emergency Department at North Tees Hospital or ring 111 for advice.
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet reference: PIL1382
Date for review: 18 May 2025