Liver Center

Biliary Atresia Clinic

The Biliary Atresia Clinic provides comprehensive medical, surgical and transplant care for infants and children with biliary atresia.

Biliary atresia is maldevelopment or blockage of the biliary system, a network of tubular structures and tiny ducts that drain bile from the liver to the small intestine where it aids in the digestive process. Biliary atresia affects only newborns and is not contagious.

Biliary atresia is a progressive inflammatory condition that begins very soon after birth. In the most common form, extrahepatic biliary atresia, the ducts outside the liver are affected first. White blood cells invade the ducts, which become damaged and may wither or disappear. Bile is trapped inside the liver and rapidly causes damage and scarring to the liver cells. Further scarring of the liver may result in cirrhosis and liver failure.

Approximately one case of biliary atresia occurs in every 15,000 live births. In the United States, approximately 300 new cases are diagnosed each year. Texas Children's Liver Center physicians and surgeons have diagnosed and treated the most complex and rare cases involving biliary atresia in the nation.