Skip to main content

Hepatic Portoenterostomy in Infants

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about hepatic portoenterostomy?

Hepatic portoenterostomy, or Kasai procedure, is surgery to treat biliary atresia. Biliary atresia is a blockage of the bile ducts (tubes) that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. Bile is a liquid made by the liver that helps with digestion.

How do I prepare my baby for surgery?

  • Your baby's surgeon will talk to you about how to prepare him or her for surgery. Your baby will not be able to eat or drink for a number of hours before the surgery. Your baby's surgeon will tell you how many hours before to feed your baby.
  • Tell your baby's surgeon about all medicines he or she currently takes. The surgeon will tell you if your baby should stop getting any medicine for the surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to give or not give your baby on the day of surgery.
  • Your baby may need blood, urine, or bowel movement tests before surgery. He or she may also need x-rays, an ultrasound, or scans liver and gallbladder scans. Talk to your baby's surgeon about these or other tests he or she may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

What will happen during my baby's surgery?

General anesthesia will keep your baby asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your baby's surgeon will make an incision on the upper right side of your baby's abdomen. He or she will remove the blocked bile ducts. Your baby's liver will be connected to his or her small intestine. This creates a new duct to drain bile from your baby's liver. Your baby's surgeon may inject a dye to check for any leaks in the new duct. The incision will be closed with stitches or staples. A bandage will be placed over the incision.

What are the risks of surgery?

Your baby may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Pressure or fluid may build up in his or her blood vessels or abdomen. Your baby may have an increased risk for poor nutrition and growth. His or her liver may scar or stop working properly. The new duct may stop working and your baby may need another surgery.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2022 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.