Tracheoesophageal Fistula

Also known as: TE fistula, TEF, TOF.

What is tracheoesophageal fistula?

The trachea (windpipe) to the lungs and the esophagus to the stomach are tubes that are normally close to one another but not connected. When tracheoesophageal fistula is present, the two tubes are connected in one or more places, and openings between them can cause problems.
 

What causes tracheoesophageal fistula?

Tracheoesophageal fistula is a birth defect that occurs while the fetus is still growing in the womb. It usually occurs in babies with other birth defects.
 

What are the symptoms of tracheoesophageal fistula?

Tracheoesophageal fistula can cause coughing or choking while feeding, vomiting, trouble breathing, a round abdomen, frothy bubble in the mouth or blue skin color.
 

What are tracheoesophageal fistula care options?

Tracheoesophageal fistula is almost always repaired surgically.

Reviewed by: Brian Ho, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:10:42 PM

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December Patient of the Month: Charlie

After surviving a high-risk pregnancy with a set of twins, the Strombom’s were faced with yet another complication. Their third child, an unborn baby named Charlie, was diagnosed with a congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM) and underwent two in utero interventions to allow for a full and healthy gestation period. Once delivered, the LifeFlight team from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital was on stand-by to transport Charlie from West Palm Beach to Miami.