Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Overview of Biliary Atresia

Biliary atresia refers to a rare type of liver disease taking place in infants. Even the disease prevails shortly after birth of a child. Disorder in this case affects the tubes present in the patient’s liver commonly known as bile ducts.

We all know that liver of a human being produces fluid called bile and in normal conditions, bile ducts take the bile fluid towards small intestines. Here, bile helps in digestion and carries various waste products.

However, in case of biliary atresia patients, bile ducts present in the liver become blocked, while bile backed up within the liver leading to liver damage, which further resulting in adverse effects of vital body functions in patients.

Types of Biliary Atresia

Biliary Atresia may take place in children in two different forms-

Perinatal Biliary Atresia Disease: Perinatal biliary atresia is a common type of problem and it takes place after birth often in 2 weeks or 4 weeks old babies.

Fetal Biliary Atresia Disease: Fetal biliary disease is a relatively less common form of problem and it takes place whenever a baby still develops in the womb of its mother.

Is Biliary Atresia Fatal?

Is Biliary Atresia Fatal?

Fatalness about biliary atresia diseases in children depends primarily on the way, in which children deal with health complications or their conditions pre and post surgery, as we have discussed here.

  • Before Surgery
  • Nutrition Problem is Common

Before your child undergoes with surgery, he/she may deal with the problem of nutrition. Because of the disease, adequate amount of bile fail to reach to the intestine to digest the fat components present in the food your child intake. Liver damage may take place due to lack of vitamins, protein and other essential nutrients. Children suffering from liver problems require relatively higher amount of calories than required for any other normal child, as they incorporate faster metabolism. In this situation, your child specialist doctor may recommend scheduling an appointment of your child with a pediatric nutritionist, as the nutritionist may give valuable pieces of advice on the diet of your child.

Falling Sick Frequently

A few children suffering from biliary atresia fall sick too often even with the normal diet. In this situation, pediatrician will recommend for high-calories of liquid feedings via an NG i.e. Nasogastric Tube. The tube feds into the nose of your child goes downward into esophagus and later on, moves within the stomach. Doctor recommends providing high-calorie of liquid via the NG tube to add into the existing diet of your sick child in case he/she eats limited amount of food or replaces meals in case the child is excessively sick for eating any solid foods.

However, in both conditions, health conditions of your child go to fatality stage.

After Surgery

After your child undergoes with surgery, his/her digestive system returns to its normal state. In some cases, you have to give the necessary vitamins supplements regularly to retain your child’s proper diet and good health. There are large numbers of factors affecting the recovery of a child suffering from biliary atresia after liver surgery. These include-

  • Extent of bile ducts damages
  • Age of a child undergoing with liver transplant or Kasai procedure
  • Extent of liver damage and
  • Overall health of your child

However, the positive thing in this case is that after liver transplantation or Kasai procedure, health of a child improves gradually with time provided he/she follows medical routine properly, while parents of the child work closely with pediatric surgeons and pediatricians.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: July 31, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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