Background: The laparoscopic Kasai operation has been under debate for a long time. In this study, we described our experience in laparoscopic portoenterostomy for biliary atresia
Subjects and methods: The operative experience in 25 cases of laparoscopic portoenterostomy for biliary atresia since January 2011 was reviewed. For the procedure, operative cholangiography was first performed for diagnosis. Laparoscopic Kasai portoenterostomy was performed as in the open manner. Electrocoagulation hemostasis was avoided at the porta, where bleeding was controlled with direct compression only. The Roux loop was fashioned outside of the abdominal cavity through the umbilical incision, and portoenterostomy was performed with absorbable sutures.
Results: All cases underwent the operation successfully without conversion to open surgery. The average time of operation was 180-285 minutes (mean, 208 minutes), and the blood loss was 15-30 mL. Twenty-two (88%) patients had bile drainage postoperatively as indicated by their stool color. Jaundice was alleviated in 21 (84%) patients, with total bilirubin decreased by a third. Follow-up extended from 3 months to 2 years after the operation. Jaundice had completely subsided in 14 (56%) cases, with a normal level of bilirubin. Seven patients had an initial decrease in bilirubin, but jaundice returned because of cholangitis. Two patients died because their parents refused liver transplantation. Two cases underwent successful liver transplants.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic portoenterostomy for biliary atresia is safe and feasible. It has the advantage of clearer vision, precise operation, and less operative trauma. In our experience, the outcome of this surgery is as good as open surgery if the surgeons are well experienced.