Surgery for Esophageal Atresia
Esophageal atresia is a rare congenital disorder in which the esophagus does not develop properly. This disorder is often detected before birth through ultrasound examinations. If not, the disorder is diagnosed at birth.
In 85 percent of cases, the esophagus does not connect with the lower esophagus and stomach. Sometimes the top of the esophagus connects with the windpipe and can cause food to be whisked into the windpipe and can cause choking and gagging.
Surgery is usually performed to connect the esophagus with the stomach and upper esophagus so that the baby can drink milk or formula and receive nutrition via their mouths. In the cases where the esophagus is connected to the windpipe, it is surgically disconnected to ensure that the child does not aspirate food into their airways while eating or drinking.
Children usually recover from this four-hour, life-saving surgical procedure quite well and are eating normally by the time they reach the age of one.