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Hepatic Duct

The liver has many functions, including detoxifying harmful substances in the blood, synthesizing proteins, and producing substances used in digestion. The word hepatic comes from the Greek term for liver and is present in medical terms that relate to this important organ. One such medical term is the hepatic duct, also called the common hepatic duct. It defines a duct, or small tube within the liver, that through a biliary network, carries bile from the liver to the small intestine to aid in digestion. The common hepatic duct is the duct formed by the convergence of the right hepatic duct (which drains bile from the right functional lobe of the liver) and the left hepatic duct (which drains bile from the left functional lobe of the liver). The common hepatic duct then joins the cystic duct coming from the gallbladder to form the common bile duct. The duct is usually 6–8 cm length and 6mm in diameter in adults. The hepatic duct is a part of the biliary tract that transports secretions from the liver into the intestines. It carries more volume in people who have had their gallbladder removed. It is an important anatomic landmark during surgeries such as gall bladder removal. It forms one edge of Calot's triangle, along with the cystic duct and the cystic artery. All constituents of this triangle must be identified to avoid cutting or clipping the wrong structure.