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In some patients, such as those with liver cancer or individuals who have had an injury to the liver, the bile ducts become blocked and bile cannot drain from the liver. The interventional radiologist places a catheter through the skin and into the bile ducts to drain the bile. In some cases, a small metal cylinder, called a stent, is placed in the liver to hold the blocked area open. A catheter may also be placed to drain bile in patients who have a hole in the bile ducts or as preparation for surgery on the bile ducts.