Biliary Reconstruction

Biliary reconstruction describes a variety of surgical procedures to replace portions of your child's biliary (bile delivery) system that are missing at birth or damaged due to illness.

Some conditions that could require biliary reconstruction include:

  • Infants born without a bile duct (called biliary atresia)
  • A bile duct obstruction such as a choledochal cyst
  • A portion of the liver needs to be removed due to illness

Pioneering treatment

Boston Children's Hospital's Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery is known internationally for having 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 for biliary reconstruction is called laparoscopic surgery, during which surgeons use small instruments guided by a small telescope are passed through the body wall. The instruments are held and 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.

Boston Children's Hospital was the first pediatric hospital to acquire a surgical robot. Today, surgeons use the technology for many procedures and perform more pediatric robotic surgeries on more children than any other hospital in the world.

Surgeons at Children’s use robotic surgery to perform biliary reconstructions— it significantly reduces the incision size, pain, length of hospitalization recuperation time and risk of infection.