Cystic Duct

The cystic duct is between two and four centimeters long. It lies between the gallbladder and the common bile duct. It transmits bile between ducts that are important for the digestion process and the gallbladder. Usually it's found next to the cystic artery that sends oxygenated blood to the gallbladder and cystic duct.

The cystic duct is an important player in the digestive process. The system needs bile to help break down food and the cystic duct transfers bile between the gallbladder and common and hepatic bile ducts....

Anatomy Explorer

Change Anatomical System
Change View Angle

    Full Cystic Duct Description

    [Continued from above] . . . This transfer helps the important fluid flow freely, thus allowing lipids to be processed in the small intestine.

    It has a spiral valve, which is a curved mucosal lining that is lined with deep folds. This valve doesn't offer much resistance to the flow of bile, which means that bile can flow pretty freely between the bile duct and the gallbladder. The gallbladder can therefore store bile between mealtimes, which is then released upon consumption of fatty foods, such as those containing high amounts of cholesterol. Unfortunately, this easy flow also means that gallstones can be released into the cystic duct and can block the bile flow. This blockage can lead to painful swelling of the gallbladder and sometimes requires surgery.