Biliary atresia is a relatively rare disease that begins in early infancy and affects about one in every 10,000 to
20,000 infants. In biliary atresia the bile duct that leads from the liver to the intestine becomes damaged
preventing bile from leaving the liver. In the early stages the bile duct outside the liver is mainly affected, but in
later stages bile ducts inside the liver are also damaged. This can lead to build up of bile in the liver which can be
harmful to the liver. Unless bile flow can be established, liver function is gradually lost and affected children rarely
survive beyond two years of age.