Esophageal Atresia And Tracheoesophageal Fistula

Narrowing of the esophagus is termed esophageal atresia. Sometimes, esophagus may end blindly. In tracheoesophageal fistula, an abnormal channel exists between the trachea and the esophagus.

The esophagus, or the food pipe, is an elongated, tube-like structure connecting the mouth and the stomach. When esophageal atresia is present, the passage of food into the stomach becomes restricted or even completely stopped. If tracheoesophageal fistula occurs, it can allow the food particles and the saliva to pass into the lungs through the fistula. It may precipitate potentially fatal situations such as serious infections and pneumonia in the infants. Food particles and fluid in the lungs decrease the ability of the lungs to oxygenate the blood, resulting in cyanosis or a bluish coloration of the skin. Coughing when trying to swallow, and drooling, are characteristic symptoms of esophageal atresia. Infants who have esophageal atresia as well as tracheoesophageal fistula are often found to be having congenital heart defects also.

 X-rays taken while a tube is being inserted into the esophagus help detect the blockage. Oral feedings are stopped immediately and fluids are administered intravenously. A suction tube is inserted into the upper part of the esophagus to remove the saliva before it reaches the lungs. Surgical correction of the abnormalities is performed as soon as possible. The connection of the esophagus to the trachea is closed and a connection from the esophagus to the stomach is opened up for the normal movement of the food.

Watch This Video About Esophageal Atresia:

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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