Learn About Esophageal Atresia

What is the definition of Esophageal Atresia?

Esophageal atresia is a digestive disorder in which the esophagus does not develop properly. The esophagus is the tube that normally carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

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What are the causes of Esophageal Atresia?

Esophageal atresia (EA) is a congenital defect. This means it occurs before birth. There are several types. In most cases, the upper esophagus ends and does not connect with the lower esophagus and stomach.

Most infants with EA have another defect called tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF). This is an abnormal connection between the esophagus and the windpipe (trachea).

In addition, infants with EA/TEF often have tracheomalacia. This is a weakness and floppiness of the walls of the windpipe, which can cause breathing to sound high-pitched or noisy.

Some babies with EA/TEF have other defects as well, most commonly heart defects.

What are the symptoms of Esophageal Atresia?

Symptoms of EA may include:

  • Bluish coloration to the skin (cyanosis) with attempted feeding
  • Coughing, gagging, and choking with attempted feeding
  • Drooling
  • Poor feeding
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What are the current treatments for Esophageal Atresia?

EA is a surgical emergency. Surgery to repair the esophagus is done as soon as possible after birth so that the lungs are not damaged and the baby can be fed.

Before the surgery, the baby is not fed by mouth and will need intravenous (IV) nutrition. Care is taken to prevent the travel of breathing secretions into the lungs.

Who are the top Esophageal Atresia Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
7
conditions
General Surgery
Pediatric Surgery

Boston Childrens Hospital

300 Longwood Ave 
Boston, MA 2115

Russell Jennings is a General Surgeon and a Pediatric Surgeon in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Jennings has been practicing medicine for over 36 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Esophageal Atresia. He is also highly rated in 7 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Esophageal Atresia, Tracheoesophageal Fistula, Gastrointestinal Fistula, and Double Aortic Arch. He is licensed to treat patients in Massachusetts.

Elite
Highly rated in
7
conditions
Pediatric Surgery
General Surgery

Johns Hopkins Health System

601 5th St S 
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Charles Smithers is a Pediatric Surgeon and a General Surgeon in St. Petersburg, Florida. Dr. Smithers has been practicing medicine for over 23 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Esophageal Atresia. He is also highly rated in 7 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Esophageal Atresia, Diaphragmatic Hernia, Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, and Hernia. He is licensed to treat patients in Florida. Dr. Smithers is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
3
conditions
Pediatrics
Pediatric Gastroenterology
Gastroenterology

Children's Hospital Pediatric Associates, Inc

300 Longwood Ave 
Boston, MA 2115

Michael Manfredi is a Pediatrics specialist and a Pediatric Gastroenterologist in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Manfredi has been practicing medicine for over 26 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Esophageal Atresia. He is also highly rated in 3 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Esophageal Atresia, Tracheoesophageal Fistula, Esophageal Perforation, and Gastrointestinal Fistula. He is board certified in Pediatric Medicine and Gastroenterology and licensed to treat patients in Massachusetts. Dr. Manfredi is currently accepting new patients.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Esophageal Atresia?

An early diagnosis gives a better chance of a good outcome.

What are the possible complications of Esophageal Atresia?

The infant may breathe saliva and other fluids into the lungs, causing aspiration pneumonia, choking, and possibly death.

Other complications may include:

  • Feeding problems
  • Reflux (the repeated bringing up of food from the stomach) after surgery
  • Narrowing (stricture) of the esophagus due to scarring from surgery

Prematurity may complicate the condition. As noted above, there may also be defects in other areas of the body.

When should I contact a medical professional for Esophageal Atresia?

This disorder is usually diagnosed shortly after birth.

Call your baby's provider right away if the baby vomits repeatedly after feedings, or if the baby develops breathing difficulties.

What are the latest Esophageal Atresia Clinical Trials?
Inverse Ratio Ventilation Versus Conventional Ratio Ventilation During One Lung Ventilation in Neonatal Open Repair of Esophageal Atresia/Tracheoesophageal Fistula: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
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A Multi-Center Randomized Trial of Transanastomotic Tube for Proximal Esophageal Atresia With Distal Tracheoesophageal Fistula Repair
What are the Latest Advances for Esophageal Atresia?
Nuss procedure for combined pectus excavatum and carinatum in a patient with a history of congenital esophageal atresia repair surgery.
Gastrointestinal Emergency in Neonates and Infants: A Pictorial Essay.
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Clinical comparison between thoracoscopic and thoracotomy repair of Gross type C esophageal atresia.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : August 25, 2019
Published By : Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Madanick R, Orlando RC. Anatomy, histology, embryology, and developmental anomalies of the esophagus. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 42.

Rothenberg SS. Esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula malformations. In: Holcomb GW, Murphy JP, St. Peter SD, eds. Holcomb and Ashcraft's Pediatric Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2020:chap 27.

Wolf RB. Abdominal imaging. In: Resnik R, Lockwood CJ, Moore TR, Greene MF, Copel JA, Silver RM, eds. Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2019:chap 26.