Oesophageal atresia

A rare birth defect in which the oesophagus forms into 2 separate, blind-ended sections during development. There is usually an abnormal channel ( tracheoesophageal fistula) between one of the sections and the trachea. The condition may be suspected before birth if the mother had polyhydramnios. The infant cannot swallow, and drools and regurgitates milk continually. If there is an upper tracheoesophageal fistula, milk may be sucked into the lungs, provoking attacks of coughing and cyanosis. Immediate surgery is needed to join the blind ends of the oesophagus and close the fistula. If the operation is successful, the baby should develop normally. Some babies, however, do not survive.


Online Medical Dictionary: Your essential reference to over 5000 medical terms.