Biliary atresia is a blockage in the tubes (ducts) that carry liquid called bile from the liver to the gallbladder. The condition is congenital, which means it is present from birth.
Complications of Biliary Atresia
Causes of Biliary Atresia
Signs & Symptoms of Biliary Atresia
Newborns with this condition may appear normal at birth. However, jaundice (a yellow color to the skin and mucus membranes) develops by the second or third week of life. The infant may gain weight normally for the first month, but then will lose weight and become irritable, and have worsening jaundice.
Other symptoms may include:
Diagnosis of Biliary Atresia
The health care provider will perform a physical exam, which includes feeling the patient's belly area. The doctor may feel an enlarged liver.
Tests to diagnose biliary atresia include:
Treatments of Biliary Atresia
An operation called the Kasai procedure is done to connect the liver to the small intestine, going around the abnormal ducts. It is most successful if done before the baby is 8 weeks old. However, a liver transplant may still be needed.
When to seek Medical Advice
Call your health care provider if your child appears jaundiced, or if other symptoms of biliary atresia develop.