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A 30-year-old member asked:

what is biliary atresia and how is it treated?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Vinocur
Pediatric Surgery 48 years experience
Absence of bile duct: The liver makes bile and the bile cannot get into the intestine. Treatment is removing the bad/scarred duct area at the edge of the liver and sew up a piece of intestine. If it is successful, bile will begin to flow into the intestine. If not, liver becomes very hard and transplant will be necessary. Also, earlier surgery gives best outcome.
Dr. Troy Reyna
Pediatric Surgery 44 years experience
Obstruction of bile: Biliary atresia is a disease of infants and newborns that results in obliteration of the bile dusts resulting in jaundice and eventually liver failure. It needs to be addressed early before infant is two months old. Surgery can correct it in one third of the cases. Any baby who is jaundiced after three weeks of age needs to be worked up.

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A 26-year-old member asked:

How often does biliary atresia occur and who is more likely at risk?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sidney Vinson
Gastroenterology 27 years experience
1/ 10-20,000 births: The cause of biliary atresia is unknown, although several mechanisms have been implicated including viral infections, genetic causes and toxin exposure.
CA
A 31-year-old member asked:

What are common complications associated with biliary atresia?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arthur Heller
Gastroenterology 43 years experience
Liver: Rare, serious disease. More in girls, blacks, asians; 1:10, 000 diagnosed early in life (< 1 month), jaundiced/yellowed. Special diet, surgery (kasai procedure) to put drainage for bile. If unsuccessful, need liver transplant. Untreated, bile buildup causes cirrhosis (scarring of liver) and liver failure. After liver transplant, need special meds and follow up.
CA
A 36-year-old member asked:

What are common symptoms and signs of biliary atresia?

4 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Faisal Qureshi
Pediatric Surgery 28 years experience
Jaundice: Persistent jaundice in the newborn which is of the direct type or conjugated type is the early sign of biliary atresia. If it goes undetected in the newborn period, the child can develop liver failure.
A 52-year-old member asked:

What happens if the biliary atresia is left untreated?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arthur Heller
Gastroenterology 43 years experience
Liver failure: True biliary atresia with chronic biliary retention causes cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, leads to liver failure, unless treated.
A 31-year-old member asked:

Who is more likely at risk for biliary atresia?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jason Hemming
Gastroenterology 17 years experience
Post Transplant: There are two forms of biliary atresia - congenital (at birth) or acquired. The acquired type most often occurs in the setting of autoimmune disease (though no way to calculate risk) and is one form of chronic rejection of a transplanted liver allograft.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016

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