The Kasai Procedure at Phoenix Children's Hospital
The Kasai Procedure is a surgery to treat or correct biliary atresia in infants, within the first few months of life.
In biliary atresia, bile ducts that are located inside or outside the liver are blocked. When the bile is unable to leave the liver through the bile ducts, the liver becomes damaged and many vital body functions are affected.
The Kasai procedure creates an artificial portal to allow the liver to drain into the intestines as it should normally function.
Sometimes it takes a few months to assess whether the Kasai Procedure has been successful. The most important indicator is a significant decrease in jaundice.
After the procedure, patients are placed on medications to promote bile flow, antibiotics to prevent infections and supplemental vitamins.
In some patients, the Kasai does not work and they will need a liver transplant.
In some patients, the procedure works initially, but over time, it will stop draining and a liver transplant will be required later in life.
In a subset of patients, the Kasai works successfully for many years.