Choledochal malformations (some of which are choledochal cysts) may be characterised as an abnormal dilatation of the biliary tract in the absence of acute obstruction. Most appear to be of congenital origin, probably related to distal bile duct stenosis, and almost 15% can now be detected antenatally.
Excision and biliary reconstruction using a Roux loop as an open operation is still the standard to compare against, although laparoscopic reconstruction is increasingly reported. This article discusses recent advances in the understanding of choledochal malformation aetiology and classification, together with the role of newer modalites of surgical treatment such as laparoscopic excision and biliary reconstruction. Although these are definitely feasible, care should be taken before dispensing with standard open techniques that have minimal complications and proven long-term benefit.
Minimally invasive surgery in children has evolved to the extent that complex procedures can be performed with safety, with comparable outcomes to open surgery and with the advantages of minimal scarring and less pain. In this article, we describe the latest laparoscopic techniques used at Juntendo University Hospital in Japan, for treating conditions affecting the porta hepatis, focusing on biliary atresia and choledochal cysts. We also summarise our postoperative management protocols and discuss preliminary outcomes.
Liver transplantation has become an established treatment in both adults and children for end-stage liver disease, acute hepatic failure and certain liver tumours. There is a significant risk of complications after all forms of liver transplantation. The interventional radiologist plays a critical role in the diagnosis and treatment of these complications. The use of image-guided, minimally invasive procedures reduces the need for surgical revision or retransplantation and improves graft and patient survival rate. This article reviews some of the most common vascular and non-vascular complications after paediatric liver transplantation, and the interventional radiology techniques used to diagnose and treat them.
Paediatric liver transplantation (PLT) is the only therapeutic option for many children with end-stage chronic liver disease or irreversible fulminant hepatic failure, and is routinely considered as a therapy by paediatric gastroenterologists and surgeons working in developed countries. In South Africa (SA), a PLT programme has been available at Red Cross War Memorial Childrenâ??s Hospital in Cape Town since November 1991, and another has rapidly developed at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg over the past decade. However, for most children with progressive chronic liver disease who are reliant on the services provided at state facilities in SA, PLT is not an option because of a lack of resources in a mismanaged public health system. This article briefly outlines the services offered at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital - which is typical of state facilities in SA - and proposes that resources be allocated to establish an innovative, nationally funded centre that would enable greater numbers of children access to a PLT programme.