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Choledochal Cysts – Why Paediatric Laparoscopic Surgery Is Preferred

Dr Nada Sudhakaran

Dr Nada Sudhakaran

Paediatric Surgeon & Urologist

Laparoscopic Surgery Is the Preferred Method for Paediatric Choledochal Cyst Treatment in Malaysia

Choledochal cysts are abnormal dilations of the tubular structure that connects the liver to the small intestine. This condition requires surgical intervention due to potential complications such as infection, stone formation, and an increased risk of cancer.

In the past, open surgery was the traditional approach for treating choledochal cysts. However, laparoscopic surgery, also known as the keyhole method, has emerged as a preferred and advanced technique. In this article I explain why laparoscopic surgery is preferred for choledochal cysts in all the most advanced medical centers around the world.

But before we do that let me quickly share a bit more on what Choledochal Cysts are…

What Are Choledochal Cysts

Choledochal cysts are a rare congenital abnormality characterized by dilations or cystic enlargements in the bile ducts. The bile ducts are responsible for carrying bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver, from the liver to the small intestine.

These cystic enlargements can occur at various locations along the bile ducts, ranging from the area near the liver to the point where the bile ducts join the small intestine. Choledochal cysts can take different forms, such as fusiform (tube-like), saccular (sac-like), or a combination of both.

The exact cause of choledochal cysts is not yet fully understood. However, it is believed to be a result of a congenital anomaly in the development of the bile ducts during fetal development. The condition is typically diagnosed in infancy or childhood, but it can also be detected in adults.

Choledochal cysts can lead to various complications, including blockage of bile flow, infection, stone formation, and an increased risk of cancer.

Prompt diagnosis and appropriate surgical intervention are crucial to prevent complications and ensure the best possible outcomes for affected individuals.

For a full article on Choledochal Cysts in children click HERE

In the following sections, we will explore why laparoscopic surgery has emerged as the preferred surgical method for treating choledochal cysts, offering numerous advantages over traditional open surgery.

Limitations of Open Surgery

Traditionally, the surgical approach for choledochal cysts involves an open cut across the abdomen to access the cyst. However, this method has several limitations:

Limited Access

The size and location of the cyst may limit the surgeon’s access during open surgery, especially for large cysts.

Open Surgery
Open surgery incisions – large in size to allow access to hand manipulation by surgeon

Prolonged Recovery & Scarring

Open surgery involves recovering from the skin, fat, muscle, and inner layer incisions. The recovery period can be prolonged, requiring more time in the hospital. In addition children are often left with enduring scars.

The Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery, also known as the keyhole method, has become the preferred technique for treating choledochal cysts due to its numerous benefits:

Minimally Invasive Approach

Laparoscopic surgery involves making three or four small incisions, compared to the large incision required in open surgery. These tiny incisions provide access for specialized instruments and a camera, allowing the surgeon to visualize and operate on the choledochal cyst.

Pediatric Appendicitis Surgery
Keyhole surgery incisions – 3 small dots to insert camera and two instruments.

Enhanced Surgical Precision

Laparoscopic surgery offers the advantage of magnified visualization and precise instrument control. The surgeon can navigate through the delicate structures with greater precision, minimizing the risk of complications and ensuring thorough removal of the cyst.

Reduced Pain and Faster Recovery

One of the significant advantages of laparoscopic surgery is reduced post-operative pain. The smaller incisions result in less tissue trauma, leading to quicker recovery times for children. Patients often experience less discomfort and require fewer pain medications during the healing process.

Less Scarring (Improved Cosmesis)

The cosmetic outcome of laparoscopic surgery is favorable, as the incisions are small and result in minimal scarring. The tiny scars are barely noticeable and tend to fade over time, enhancing the aesthetic appearance for the child.

Shorter Hospital Stay

Laparoscopic surgery typically requires a shorter hospital stay compared to open surgery. Children undergoing laparoscopic procedures for choledochal cysts often experience a reduced length of hospitalization, allowing them to return to their normal activities sooner.

Choosing Laparoscopic Surgery for Choledochal Cysts

Laparoscopic surgery has become the preferred surgical technique for choledochal cysts in many medical centers. Its numerous benefits, including minimal invasiveness, reduced pain, faster recovery, improved cosmesis, and shorter hospital stays, make it an attractive option for patients and their families.

When considering treatment for choledochal cysts, parents should seek out experienced surgeons who specialize in laparoscopic procedures. These skilled professionals can provide personalized care and perform the surgery with precision, ensuring the best possible outcome for the child.

By choosing laparoscopic surgery for choledochal cysts, parents can have confidence in a procedure that offers minimal invasiveness, faster recovery, and excellent long-term results. It is crucial to consult with a qualified surgeon to discuss the specific case and determine the most appropriate treatment approach.

Remember, early intervention and the right surgical approach can make a significant difference in the long-term health and well-being of children with choledochal cysts.

Find out more HERE

Patient testimonial after receiving Choledochal Cyst treatment from Dr. Nada

“First of all, I really thank the lord for blessed me and my family for get to know with Dr. Nada.

In my case, My baby girl diagnosed chronic Choledocal cyst. After surveyed few hospitals finally I and my husband heard lot of good reviews about Rr Nada and we decided to see him. From the 1st visit we have a high confidence on his service and as advised by Dr the keyhole surgery been done for my daughter in January 2020 . The surgery was really complicated and took almost 7 hours…Dr Nada is really experience doctor in Pantai Medical Centre.

He is the master of Keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery and only few doctors in Malaysia who have such skills. One of the benefits from keyhole surgery is its reduces injury to the body,because the cuts made are smaller and also much smaller scars. My girl tummy area looks like she never had a surgery before.My daughter is absolutely fine after the surgery. Dr Nada was taking care my daughter in hospital with full of Love and Care which made my family praised him. Even though it’s has been already few months but Dr Nada still keep in touch on my baby girl’s progress.

Dr.Nada is a such a humble and wonderful person who really understand the needs of the parents who have problems with their kids.For my family, he is the divine! We will be forever grateful for him May God bless you always…Dr…thank you.”

Chandakala Ck – Mother


If you require surgical help with your child, schedule an appointment with Dr Nada and put your mind at ease knowing that your child is in good hands.

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Dr Nada Sudhakaran

Paediatric Surgeon & Urologist

Paediatric Surgeon

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