Esophageal Atresia

Esophageal AtresiaEsophageal atresia is the complete absence of one part of the esophagus. The upper part, which leads into the mouth, is completely closed, and there is no passage in the child’s stomach. Because of this, the newborn can not swallow secretions from mouth and nose, which means that secretion can enter the trachea and partially close it.

This prevents the baby from breathing. Persistent gargling in the throat can be heard, and sometimes the baby’s skin becomes blue. Symptoms disappear when a physician removes the secretion, but they reappear as soon as the secretion is accumulated.

At each feeding attempt, the esophagus is filled with food, which is spilled over the clogged tip to the trachea, causing the baby to cough and gargle.

When such symptoms appear, the doctor will suspect on esophageal atresia and examine its passability by inserting the tube (probe). Diagnosis is confirmed if the tube does not enter the stomach. This disorder occurs in approximately one in 3500 newborns.


After the diagnosis is made, it is essential to immediately approach the treatment. Surgical procedure opens the esophagus and connects two separated parts. The operation usually eliminates the disorder and, in most cases, there are no long-term discomforts.