About this disease

What it is about

Various diseases can disrupt the natural excretion of the pigment bilirubin, causing it to be deposited in the tissues and turn them yellow. The possible causes are numerous. They include gallstones, liver inflammation (hepatitis), liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, bile duct tumor, poisoning, certain medications and many more.


A yellow discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes or eyes should always be clarified - especially if there are other warning signs such as light-colored stools or fatty stools, dark urine, fatigue, exhaustion, loss of performance, loss of appetite, unwanted weight loss, ascites, fever, confusion or disorientation.

Symptoms and consequences

Yellowish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes as well as the eyes (sclera) are the most typical symptoms, which is also where the term jaundice comes from. This is often accompanied by a discoloration of the stool, so that it appears gray/clay-colored. The urine, in turn, appears intensely dark yellow. Fatigue, exhaustion and severe skin itching often accompany these symptoms.

What we do for you

Examination and diagnosis

To clarify jaundice, a blood test, a urine test and an ultrasound examination are always performed. If necessary, an ultrasound examination via the stomach, a CT scan or an MRI examination will follow.


The therapy of jaundice is as varied as its causes. The principle is to restore the excretion of bilirubin via the intestines or to reduce the amount of bilirubin in the blood. Possible treatments include removal of gallstones in the bile ducts via gastroscopy combined with removal of the gallbladder, treatment of liver inflammation and tumors, or drug therapy. If certain medications are causing the jaundice, they will need to be replaced.

Responsible departments

Visceral Surgery


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