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What is a choledochal cyst?
Bile that is produced in the
liver flows through
increasingly larger channels (ducts) within the liver and finally into even
larger ducts that leave the liver, pass through the substance of the pancreas, and then empty into the
cyst is a cyst (hollow outpouching) of the bile ducts. Choledochal cysts have
been classified into several different types depending on where they are located
and whether they can be seen as separate structures from the ducts
(diverticulum-like); or whether they can be seen as a localized dilation
(enlargement) of the ducts. Choledochal cysts are rare, occurring in
less than 1% of individuals. The cause of choledochal cysts is unknown, but they
are congenital, that is, present from birth, and, therefore, represent
developmental abnormalities of the bile ducts in the fetus.