Esophageal Atresia

Also known as: EA.

What is esophageal atresia?

When a fetus’s esophagus, the tube that carries food to the stomach, does not develop correctly, the defect is known as esophageal atresia. This birth defect is often present with others, including a bad connection between the esophagus and windpipe (known as tracheoesophageal fistula). These defects can cause a number of problems.


What causes esophageal atresia?

Researchers aren’t sure exactly what causes esophageal atresia. There appears to be a genetic component to the birth defect.


What are the symptoms of esophageal atresia?

Babies with esophageal atresia have trouble feeding and breathing. This leads to drooling, coughing, gagging, choking and a bluish color when babies try to feed and occasionally difficulty breathing.   


What are esophageal atresia care options?

Surgery is needed to repair esophageal atresia as soon as possible after birth. A baby will need to be fed by IV nutrition until the surgery can take place.


Reviewed by: Shifra A Koyfman, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:09:31 PM

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