Choanal Atresia

Also known as: blocked choana, blocked nasal passage.

What is choanal atresia?

Choanal atresia occurs when a newborn’s nasal passage is blocked at the junction between the back of the nose and the throat. These newborns have difficulty breathing shortly after birth.

What causes choanal atresia?

Choanal atresia occurs as a fetus is growing in the womb. For reasons that are not entirely understood, the thin tissue that separates the mouth and nose does not separate which leads to an obstruction of airflow between the nose and throat.

What are the symptoms of choanal atresia?

Difficulty breathing, nasal discharge, a sunken chest and nasal blockage are all potential symptoms of choanal atresia.

What are choanal atresia care options?

Shortly after birth, a newborn may need assistance with breathing via intubation. Surgery to open the blocked nasal passage can resolve the problem.

Reviewed by: Sandeep P Dave, M.D.

This page was last updated on: 1/22/2018 11:49:40 AM

From the Newsdesk

VACC Camp Founder Passes Away
10/10/2017 — ​The medical staff, employees and volunteers of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital mourn the passing of our esteemed Dr. Moises Simpser, a longstanding leader and dedicated champion for children with complex medical conditions and their families.
October Patient of the Month: Mariana
09/28/2017 — Meet our October Patient of the Month, Mariana. Mariana was born with Crouzon syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents the skull from growing normally. For Mariana, it also caused difficulties with her breathing, but unfortunately, in Venezuela, where Mariana was born, they did not have the resources to treat her condition.