Choledochal Cysts (cont.)

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How are choledochal cysts diagnosed?

Choledochal cysts can be diagnosed in several ways. The most common is by ultrasonography.

The second most common way is by cholangiography, that is, the filling of the bile ducts with dye followed by x-ray imaging. The dye may be injected by a long needle directly into the bile ducts by advancing the needle through the skin and liver into the ducts or with an endoscopically-placed catheter from the duodenum through the Papilla of Vater (the point at which the bile duct enters the small intestine, also known as the Ampulla of Vater).

The most recent technique for identifying choledochal cysts is magnetic resonance imaging, also known as MRI. It offers the advantage of being non-invasive requiring neither an injection into the bile ducts or endoscopy.

How are choledochal cysts treated?

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The best way of treating choledochal cysts is to surgically remove them and reconstruct the bile ducts that were affected. The cyst should be completely removed whenever possible. If the ducts cannot be reconstructed, they should be sewn to the intestine so that bile can drain freely out of the ducts.

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery

REFERENCE: Choledochal cysts.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/20/2014

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