ptc, ambulance ride & icu

The look of severe  jaundice

The look of severe jaundice – from scalp to the sole of my feet.


The tumor waged a war. There was a blockage in my bile duct.

Since the endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) failed miserably, I undergone percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTC). I know nakakanosebleed!

Kahit din ako napatumbling!

What is a bile? It is a murky and a dark greenish liquid released by the liver- with cholesterol, bile salts, and waste products. Bile salts help the body break down (digest) fats. A blockage of the bile duct can lead to jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin), itching of the skin, or infection of the liver, gallbladder or pancreas.

The severe jaundice was a nightmare, the level of discomfort was 11 out of 10.

In simple terms, the PTC procedure helped locate the blockage of the bile duct through x-ray and put a drain or stent to remove the bile.

The PTC method was similar to ERCP, instead of the tube being inserted through an endoscope, a needle will be inserted through the skin just below your rib cage.

Initially, I was scheduled for PTC in the Habib Hospital branch in Olaya and admitted in the ICU.

For all I know, it would be done soon but the schedule got messed up and waited for a day or two.

The ICU nurses were very cordial and attentive to my needs. Tatak ICU na tender loving care (TLC)!

But, I am surrounded by comatose patients.

In the wee hours of the morning, I heard nurses shouting ‘code blue’. I don’t know what it means, but after a minutes there were wailing in the corridors.

Finally, the PTC schedule was organized.

Ambulance ride

The ambulance ride.


I was transferred from Olaya to Khurais branch of the hospital via ambulance. It was like a trip from Manila to Tagaytay with a Saudi driver in a Ferrari race and a wangwang pa more.

Inside the ambulance

Holding on with my wife.


My wife was with me in the ambulance- prayed together and cried a few.

Upon arrival, I was whisked to the emergency area for endorsement and then transferred to the ICU.

A group of doctors and nurses welcomed me fiesta style. As if they were like long lost friends you met again. They interviewed me about my case like an FBI agent. Questions after questions.

A mini first class hotel room with toilet and shower best described my ICU room.

But, with mandatory monitoring machine for oxygen, blood pressure, etc.

Service deluxe at its finest. Except that you are neighbors with closely monitored patients (severe cases, comatose, fighting for their lives).

The PTC day came.

No food and drinks for more than six (6) hours. Hungry pangs attacked.

From the ICU to the Cat lab, where the procedure was done, I prayed hard.

I was sedated.


I didn’t know what happen next.

Groggy when I woke up. I asked for food.

Lo and behold, there was a dangling plastic bag with a dark greenish liquid attached to my belly reminded me ‘hello, you’re still alive’.




It was the percutaneous biliary drainage (PTBD) or a drain/stent that took out the bile from the liver directly out my body.

The toxins were spewed out and there was a feeling of temporary relief.

The jaundice slowly faded out.

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