After an infant has had the Kasai procedure, he or she will have to be on a strict vitamin-rich diet that does require bile production. Nutrition is important post-surgery to ensure proper development, as babies with biliary atresia suffer some nutritional deficiencies even after surgery. Some babies develop a condition called ascites, which causes their belly to swell with fluid. If not improved in six weeks, it is most likely indicates cirrhosis, and they will require a transplant. At times, an infection may occur in the liver, in which case doctors will prescribe antibiotics.
Cirrhosis will follow if bile drainage and/or blood flow does not occur after the Kasai procedure. The liver becomes hard with scar tissue and nonfunctional. The baby will need to get a new liver and then a series of medications to make sure the body does not reject the new organ. Diet, again, is very important for proper recovery.