CHOLEDOCHAL CYSTS - Overview, Facts, Types, Symtoms, Diagnosis


Choledochal cysts are congenital anomalies characterized by cystic dilatation of the biliary tree, extrahepatic or intrahepatic, or both. Bile is produced within the liver which flows through increasingly larger channels (ducts) within the liver and eventually into even larger ducts that leave the liver, undergo the substance of the pancreas, and then empty into the duodenum.

Choledochal cysts are rare. The explanation for choledochal cysts is untold, but they’re congenital, present from birth, and represent developmental abnormalities of the bile ducts within the fetus.


Some newborns with cysts have symptoms right away. Others have good bile flow initially, but they get symptoms soon after birth. Children don’t have symptoms for years or long. Some people live with a choledochal cyst for many years but don’t know about it because they don’t have symptoms until they are adults.

Children or babies with a choledochal cyst may encounter these symptoms:


Choledochal cysts are most commonly diagnosed by ultrasound or prenatal ultrasound before birth. Other imaging tests include CT scans, MRCP or ERCP.

Choledochal cysts are typically diagnosed together of several types:

  • Type I: Cyst of the bile duct. This is the foremost common sort of choledochal cyst, accounting for about half all choledochal cysts.
  • Type II: Pouching or sac on the common bile duct .
  • Type III: Cyst inside the wall of the duodenum or pancreas.
  • Type IV: A cyst that extends into the liver along the bile ducts.
  • Type V: Multiple cysts along the common bile duct inside the liver, also referred to as Caroli’s Disease.

If not given immediate medical care, complications of these diseases includes:

  • Infection
  • Jaundice
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallstones and sludge within the common bile duct and gallbladder
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Malignancy


Choledochal cysts are typically treated surgically, either by an open surgery (using one incision) or laparoscopically, where small incisions and a camera are to guide the surgeon. Both procedures are performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. In both sorts of surgery for choledochal cysts, the cyst is removed and sometimes the system of bile ducts are reconstructed or repaired employing a section of intestine. Primary care physicians who encounter a patient with a choledochal cyst should consult a surgeon.

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