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Biliary atresia

What we do

Biliary atresia (BA) is a disease of the bile ducts which affects newborn babies. The condition occurs when the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder do not develop as expected and are blocked. Symptoms include jaundice and it can cause serious liver damage. It is a rare condition and is managed in only three centres in the UK, of which King’s is the largest. We see between 20 to 30 newly diagnosed babies each year.

A diagnosis is made following blood tests and imaging. In most cases, surgery is performed to restore bile flow (the Kasai operation). Following surgery, in most cases bile flow is restored, and jaundice reduced. These patients can be managed with outpatient follow-up. Some patients may need further inpatient care and possibly a liver transplant. If a liver transplant is needed, it will also be performed at King’s.

The Children’s Liver Disease Foundation website provides further information about biliary atresia.

King’s is one of the world’s leading centres for the care of infants and children born with biliary atresia. We have pioneered a number of new treatments and techniques that have been used in other centres world-wide. Our paediatric liver transplant programme was the first one in the UK to be focused on paediatrics in 1989. Many operative techniques and post-operative strategies have been developed here to increase the chances of receiving a donor organ and reduce the risk of complications and death.

We are a world-leading research centre for biliary atresia, with over 100 scientific articles and publications on the subject. We have also led a number of important clinical trials.

A registry of all infants and children from England and Wales born with biliary atresia (Biliary Atresia Registry) is currently in operation to assess national outcomes and be the basis for future research.


Third floor, Hambleden Wing, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 9RS

Contact Details

All suspected cases of biliary atresia should be referred to one of the three national centres: King’s College Hospital, Leeds Children’s Hospital, or Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Referring a patient to King’s

Fill in the form below and email it to [email protected]. When sending the form, please call the on-call Paediatric Liver Registrar on 020 3299 9000, extension 37812.

Referral forms

TitleFile SizeLink
Paediatric Liver referral form701 KB

Key Clinical Staff

Name Role
Prof Alastair Baker Paediatric Liver Consultant
Prof Mark Davenport Consultant Paediatric Surgeon
Prof Anil Dhawan Paediatric Liver Consultant
Dr Tassos Grammatikopoulos Consultant Paediatric Hepatologist
Prof Nedim Hadzic Consultant Paediatric Hepatologist
Dr Jonathan Hind Consultant Paediatric Hepatology and Intestinal Transplantation
Ms Rania Kronfli Consultant Paediatric Surgeon
Dr Serena Kyrana Consultant Paediatric Hepatologist
Ms Erica Makin Consultant Paediatric Surgeon
Dr Tara Parfitt Clinical Psychologist
Dr Marianne Samyn Paediatric Hepatology Consultant
Dr Anthi Thangarajah SpR Paediatric Hepatology
Mrs Jenny Yerlett Paediatric Liver Nurse Specialist