Background: Although the proportion of patients with biliary atresia remaining jaundice-free after hepatic portoenterostomy (i.e., Kasai operation) has recently been increasing, in many cases repeated reoperation is required to achieve this result. Also, with assessment of jaundice using 2.0 mg/dL of serum total bilirubin as the cutoff, progressive liver fibrosis has occurred in longterm survivors, making liver transplantation necessary. Reoperations result in difficulty in removing the liver for this purpose and cause an increase in the probability of sequelae. Study Design: We have performed a new modification of the Kasai operation on a series of patients using the Cavitron ultrasonic suction aspirator (CUSA) for obtaining persistent biliary drainage. We assessed the results using < 1.5 mg/dL of serum total bilirubin as the criterion for jaundice-free patients. Results: Since 1988, 39 patients were available for review of their clinical results to evaluate our new modification. Thirty patients (77%) were completely and continuously free of jaundice, without living-related liver transplantation or reoperation, and the maximum level of total bilirubin was < 1.1 mg/dL. Conclusions: Our new approach to Kasai operations using CUSA as an integral aid to freeing the biliary remnants and facilitating enteric anastomosis is effective for persistent and complete disappearance of jaundice, without complicated reconstruction or reoperation, and decreases the need for liver transplantation.
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