Treatments for Choledochal Cysts in Children

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What's the treatment for choledochal cysts?

If your child's doctor suspects the presence of a cyst, a pediatric surgeon will perform exploratory surgery to check your child out.

If there are any cysts in your child's duct system, the pediatric surgeon can remove them. This could involve removing a lobe of the liver if the cyst is intrahepatic, or part of the extrahepatic duct, followed by duct reconstruction using a piece of intestine.

Without surgery, there is an ongoing risk of other problems:

  • biliary obstruction
  • infection of the ducts
  • jaundice
  • cirrhosis

Another long-term concern is for malignant degeneration. Choledochal cysts are inflammatory in nature, which makes them at risk for becoming cancerous if left untreated.

Your child's surgeon may decide only to remove the cyst lining, to protect the underlying structures. Once the cyst or cysts are surgically removed, your child's biliary duct requires reconstruction.

This could involve surgical creation of a passage uniting the common bile duct and the small intestine using a piece of small intestine.

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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