Esophageal Atresia (Pediatric)
What is esophageal atresia?
Esophageal atresia is a rare condition present at birth. It occurs when the esophagus fails to connect to the stomach as it should and ends in a blind pouch instead.
What causes esophageal atresia?
Exact causes are unknown, though some children are born with this condition as part of a larger syndrome of heart and/or digestive tract disorders.
What are the symptoms of esophageal atresia?
- Coughing and choking with attempted feeding
- Cyanosis (bluish tint to the skin) during attempted feeding
- Poor feeding
How is esophageal atresia diagnosed?
- During pregnancy, excess amniotic fluid seen on an ultrasound may show esophageal atresia.
- After birth, the condition may be suspected if the infant chokes, coughs, and turns blue when attempting to eat.
- An attempt is made to pass a feeding tube through the infant’s mouth or nose and X-ray imaging is used to see if the tube reaches the stomach. The tube coiling in the upper esophagus indicates the condition.
What is the treatment for esophageal atresia?
- Surgical repair is needed soon after birth using minimally invasive techniques.
- After surgery, our multidisciplinary team, including gastrointestinal specialists, provides long-term follow-up care to prevent and treat acid reflux, which affects many children after the procedure.