Choledochal Cysts - Symptoms

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What were the symptoms of your choledochal cysts?

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What are the symptoms and complications of choledochal cysts?

In infants, choledochal cysts usually lead to obstruction of the bile ducts and retention of bile. This leads to jaundice and an enlarged liver. If the obstruction is not relieved, permanent damage may occur to the liver - scarring and cirrhosis - with the signs of portal hypertension (obstruction to the flow of blood through the liver) and ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdomen). There is an increased risk of cancer in the wall of the cyst.

In older individuals, choledochal cysts are more likely to cause abdominal pain and intermittent episodes of jaundice and occasionally cholangitis (inflammation within the bile ducts caused by the spread of bacteria from the intestine into the bile ducts). Pancreatitis also may occur. The cause of these complications may be related to either abnormal flow of bile within the ducts or the presence of gallstones.

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Comment from: Mags, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I had a congenital choledochal cyst which took 26 years to diagnose. I had constant severe tummy aches as a child plus jaundice at the age of 9; doctors didn't twig! My teen years were pretty pain-free but once I left home and had a different diet pattern, the pain started in earnest. After throwing up and nearly collapsing with the pain on holiday in Greece and in the middle of London, I had an ultra-sound and was in hospital within 3 weeks. Thirty years later, touch wood, I have had very little trouble with my digestive tract.

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Comment from: Bonnie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

I had a choledochal cyst removed last May in my bile duct. I had my gallbladder out too. The cyst was the size of a grapefruit, and sitting on my pancreas. I had stomach pain once in a while before, and got out of breath while trying to exercise. I lost my appetite also. I had an ultrasound and a MRI and they sent me to a surgeon. The surgery took 4 hours, but everything went well. No cancer (thank goodness). Next month will be my year anniversary, and I feel fine. Exercising, and doing things normal. Thanks to the wonderful doctors that took care of me.

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