Table of contents:
- Recognizing Some Causes and Symptoms of Biliary Atresia
- Tests to Diagnose Biliary Atresia
- The Right Way to Treat Biliary Atresia
Biliary atresia is a congenital or congenital disorder characterized by obstruction of the bile ducts in newborns. Although rare, but this condition can not be taken lightly. If not detected early and treated appropriately, biliary atresia can be fatal for the baby
Babies born with biliary atresia have abnormalities in their bile ducts, resulting in obstruction of bile flow. As a result, bile will accumulate in the liver, causing permanent liver damage or cirrhosis.
Recognizing Some Causes and Symptoms of Biliary Atresia
Until now, the reason why babies can be born with biliary atresia is still not known for certain. However, there are several factors that are known to increase the risk of biliary atresia, including:
- Genetic disorders
- Exposure to toxic substances while the baby is still in the womb
- Disorders of development of the liver or bile ducts
- Immune system disorders
- History of infection while in the womb
Most newborns with biliary atresia appear he althy. Usually, the symptoms of biliary atresia appear when the baby is 2–3 weeks old. The following are the symptoms of biliary atresia that can be experienced by babies:
- Baby looks yellow or jaundice
- Urine is dark in color
- Baby tummy looks bigger
- Stool is pale in color and has a very strong smell
- Baby weight loss
- Baby growth is stunted
Tests to Diagnose Biliary Atresia
The symptoms of biliary atresia can mimic other he alth problems in babies, such as hepatitis and cholestasis. Therefore, babies who show the above symptoms of biliary atresia need to be examined by a pediatrician immediately.
To confirm the diagnosis of biliary atresia in infants, the doctor will perform a physical examination and supporting examinations which include:
- X-rays and ultrasound on the baby's stomach, to monitor the condition of the liver and bile
- Cholangiography, which is an X-ray examination using a contrast substance in the bile duct
- Blood test, to check the level of bilirubin in the baby's body
- Liver biopsy, to check the condition of the liver through tissue samples
- ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography), to evaluate the condition of the bile, pancreas and liver.
In addition, the doctor may also perform a hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) test or cholescintigraphy to check the function of the ducts and gallbladder in babies.
The Right Way to Treat Biliary Atresia
Treatment of biliary atresia can only be done with surgery. One of the surgical techniques that can be performed to treat biliary atresia is the Kasai surgery technique. This surgical technique can be performed through conventional surgery or using laparoscopy.
The Kasai surgery procedure is done by connecting the baby's intestines to the liver, so that bile can flow directly from the liver to the intestines. This operation can provide effective results if performed before the baby is 2-3 months old.
In severe cases of biliary atresia, the baby's liver can become progressively damaged and over time can lead to liver failure. To treat the condition, the baby will need to undergo liver transplant surgery. Jaundice conditions due to biliary atresia also usually need to be treated with phototherapy.
In fact, it is not uncommon for babies who have undergone Kasai surgery to undergo liver transplant surgery to treat biliary atresia and its complications.
Biliary atresia is a serious medical condition in infants that needs to be treated by pediatricians and pediatric surgeons.
Therefore, you need to immediately check your little one to the doctor if he has complaints that should be suspected as symptoms of biliary atresia. The goal is that this condition can be detected and treated immediately before it causes complications or permanent damage.