Choledochal Cyst

Introduction

A choledochal cyst is a cyst (hollow outpouching) of the bile ducts. Choledochal cysts have been classified into several different types depending on their location and extent of the swelling. They are congenital, that is, present from birth, and, therefore, represent developmental abnormalities of the bile ducts in the fetus.

Complications
  • Permanent damage may occur to the liver – scarring and cirrhosis
  • Increased risk of cancer in the wall of the cyst.
Symptoms
  • Mass within the abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Enlarged liver
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cholangitis (infection within the bile ducts)
  • Pancreatitis
Diagnosis Tests

MRI scan with MR cholangiopancreatography MRCP is the diagnostic test of choice.

Treatments

Surgery is the best treatment for choledochal cysts. The cyst should be completely removed. The cut edges of the bile duct are joined to a loop of intestine so that the bile pathway is preserved. This operation can be performed laparoscopically or robotically, which leads to less pain, faster recovery and shorter hospital stay, with similar technical results.