A narrative review of the modern surgical management of pediatric choledochal cysts

R. Ellen Jones, Jessica A. Zagory, Rachael A. Clark, Samir R. Pandya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Choledochal cysts (CC) ae rare congenital dilations of the biliary tract that harbor lifelong malignancy risk. CC are treated with surgical excision and bilioenteric reconstruction. In the modern era, the surgical approach to pediatric patients has enjoyed significant innovation with regards to minimally invasive techniques. In this review, we discuss these advances, including laparoscopic, single-incision laparoscopic, and robotic strategies, with a focus on the clinical outcomes of patients undergoing these procedures. By presenting an overview of the technical pearls emphasized by pioneers of these procedures, we examine the benefits and limitations of various minimally invasive techniques and analyze the utility and effectiveness of laparoscopy and robotics in comparison to each other and open techniques. Additionally, we highlight the importance of surgeon experience and skill in the management of this rare pediatric disease and explore the significance of the surgical learning curve in minimally invasive approaches in the excision of CC. We discuss the challenge of achieving surgical competency along this learning curve, and present proposed strategies to improve skill sets in the face of low case volumes. Finally, the relative dearth of data discussing long-term follow-up in these patients is discussed, and additional research regarding outcomes, malignancy risk and surveillance, and quality of life is necessary to better understand this disease and the implications of its surgical management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA6
JournalTranslational Gastroenterology and Hepatology
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Choledochal cyst (CC)
  • Laparoscopy
  • Minimally invasive
  • Pediatric
  • Robotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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