4. Exploratory surgery
Diagnosis of neonatal cholestasis typically involves a combination of clinical evaluation, laboratory testing, and imaging. In some cases, exploratory surgery is necessary to identify the cause of the condition and evaluate the extent of damage caused by the interruption of bile flow.
During the surgery, the surgeon examines the biliary tract, including the gallbladder and bile ducts, to determine the underlying cause of the cholestasis. In addition, imaging of the liver, gallbladder, and biliary tract may be used to assess the degree of obstruction. The surgeon may also take tissue samples for microscopic examination to evaluate the extent of damage and to look for abnormal cells or tissue.
After the exploratory surgery is complete, further treatment, such as medications or surgical repair of the biliary tract, can be pursued to correct the underlying cause of the condition.