Fetal Treatment Program of New England

Esophageal Atresia

Seen in approximately one in 4,000 births and caused by the abnormal development of the esophagus, esophageal atresia refers to the incomplete connection of the mouth to the stomach, which causes swallowing and breathing problems at birth. Diagnosed through level II ultrasound, fetal echocardiogram and amniocentesis, esophageal atresia is best treated after birth with surgery; however, more than one procedure may be needed to repair the connection. Your baby will remain in the hospital for several weeks while normal swallowing function is restored, and will receive nutrients intravenously until he or she can consume enough nutrients for normal growth through mouth feedings.