Choledochal Cysts

A choledochal cyst is a rare congenital swelling of the hepatic or bile duct of your child’s liver.

  • This is the tract that transports bile produced by the cells to the gallbladder and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).

  • These cysts can be intrahepatic, meaning that they occur in the part of the duct located inside of the liver.

  • They can also be extrahepatic, meaning part of the bile duct that is located outside the liver.

Pioneering treatment

Boston Children's Hospital's Robotic Surgery Research and Training Program pioneered or perfected many of the minimally invasive surgical procedures in use today. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is surgery done through small incisions using miniaturized surgical tools and cameras or telescopes. MIS usually results in less pain, less scarring and a quicker recovery time for our patients.

One form of MIS used to remove choledochal cysts is called laparoscopic surgery, during which surgeons use small instruments guided by a small telescope. The instruments are manipulated by the surgeon who controls their movements, while watching them on a video screen. This form of MIS has been used widely in adults and more recently in children.