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: March 20, 2019 04:06 PM
Patient Success Stories
Francesca: Born August 19, 2019 at Nicklaus Children's Hospital
At their 20-week anatomy scan, Olivia Bittles and her husband Bobby learned their unborn baby had esophageal atresia, a genetic condition in which the esophagus does not connect directly to the stomach. This news came as a shock. Read More.
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The Foker operation is a modern set of procedures that can successfully treat even the trickiest forms of esophageal atresia in days to weeks instead.