Intestinal Atresia and Stenosis

Also known as: intestinal obstructions.

What are intestinal atresia and stenosis?

Intestinal atresia, a type of birth defect, refers to a complete block in an area of the intestines of a baby. It occurs when the intestines aren’t formed properly. A less severe form is called intestinal stenosis, which is a partial block of the intestines. Often, these two birth defects are grouped together as intestinal obstructions.

 

What causes intestinal atresia and stenosis?

The reasons for intestinal atresia and stenosis occurring can vary. In some cases, the baby’s intestines simply form incorrectly. Other times, a loss of blood flow to that area causes the birth defect.

 

What are the symptoms of intestinal atresia and stenosis?

Symptoms vary based on where the narrowing or block in the intestine is. Babies with intestinal atresia and stenosis usually present with swelling of the abdomen, enlarged intestines, vomiting, or failure to pass meconium (early baby stools). They can also be malnourished because they can’t absorb nutrients through the intestines.

 

What are intestinal atresia and stenosis care options?

The issues related to intestinal atresia and stenosis require surgery shortly after birth to repair the problems.


 

Reviewed by: Shifra A Koyfman, MD

This page was last updated on: 2/3/2018 6:05:39 PM

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When Layla was 5, she came to Nicklaus Children's Hospital with a severe case of scoliosis. To help straighten her spine, Layla spent time in halo gravity traction. While her mom returned home to Gainesville for work and school, the nurses at Nicklaus Children's took care of Layla, acting as substitute mothers and making sure she was well cared for.