Biliary Atresia: A Primer
November 12, 2019
A rare disease that affects only babies is called Biliary Atresia. This disease originates in the bile ducts and the ratio of infants affected by it is 1: 18,000. This disease is generally seen in premature babies, and females, and those of African American or Asian ethnicity.
Here, the bile ducts are inflamed and blocked at birth. This causes the bile to remain trapped inside the liver where it sets out to destroy liver cells which leads up to cirrhosis or liver scarring. This is the No. 1 cause for children to have liver transplants.
The cause of Biliary Atresia is yet unknown. However, in some babies, it is congenital. About one out of every 10 babies suffering from Biliary Atresia also suffer from other congenital problems. In such cases, viral infection could be the cause of Biliary Atresia.
According to scientists, this disease is not hereditary, contagious and preventable. It is also not due to anything a pregnant woman did or didn’t do.
Between the first two and six months after birth, babies show symptoms of Biliary Atresia. These are a yellowing of the skin and corneas, hardening of the liver and a swollen abdomen. The baby’s stools gurn light grey, his urine is unusually dark and he may have a body itch.
To diagnose the infant’s ailment, doctors perform a liver biopsy, ultrasound, X-rays and blood and liver tests.
So far, there is no cure for this disease but a surgical procedure called the Kasai Procedure, can help. Here, the doctor reconstructs the infant’s bile duct and restores bile flow by joining the baby’s liver with a part of his intestine.
If unsuccessful, the liver damage continues and eventually, cirrhosis develops. The doctor will then resort to liver transplant, a treatment method which has proved to be very successful for children with this disease. Children who undergo this procedure survive it and grow into healthy adults.
Usually, even if the surgery is successful, infants develop progressively damaged livers. They will need focused medical care all their lives leading to a liver transplant.
Why Rela Hospital
Since the past few years, treatment methods for liver diseases in India have become more and more successful, bringing joy to families of liver patients. This increasing success rate is due to its cutting- edge technology, its internationally educated and trained surgeons and highly experienced nursing and support staff.
Take, for example, the Dr Rela Hospital, Chennai, India, a hospital known for being at the forefront of liver transplant in children in India. Under the dynamic leadership of Dr Rela, himself an expert in this field, this hospital is among the top paediatric liver transplantation hospitals in India.
Dr Rela is known for his singular expertise in this field, and is recognized by the fraternity as the best paediatric liver specialist in Chennai.
To know more about this procedure and how this hospital can be the right one for your child, call them today on +91 9384681770.