Just like adults, children also suffer from different types of dysfunctions of the liver and pancreas. Hence surgeries for the liver, bile ducts and pancreas has emerged as one of the advanced treatment strategies for children.
Functions of the Liver :
The liver is the largest organ in the body and has many functions like production of bile and albumin; storage of vitamins, minerals and glycogen; regulation of amino acids and clotting factors; filtration of blood to remove toxins and resisting infections. The juices produced in the liver is carried to the small intestine through the bile ducts.
Functions of the Pancreas :
The pancreas is located below the stomach and is surrounded by spleen and the small intestine. Its primary function is to help in digestion by producing enzymes and regulation of glucose in the body by synthesizing the required hormones like insulin.
Pediatric Liver Disease :
Children can suffer from different diseases which can cause problems in the proper functioning of the liver. These can lead to jaundice, cholestasis, liver enlargement, encephalopathy, liver failure, bleeding esophageal varices, tumors and cysts in the liver.
Liver Surgery :
The common reasons for liver surgery in children are tumors, hereditary liver problems, cholestatic diseases like stones or biliary atresia and sudden liver failure.
Risks of Liver Surgery :
Children can have different complications after liver surgery. These include bleeding, infections, low immunity, leakage from bile ducts or non-functioning of the newly transplanted liver.
Pancreatic Surgery in Children:
For many children who suffer from chronic pancreatitis and severe pain a surgery called lateral pancreato-jejunostomy is done where a passage is created from the main pancreatic duct directly into the small intestine bypassing the block in the duct. Other reason why children undergo pancreatic surgery is commonly due to tumors and trauma.