The ends of the esophagus are sutured back together. In many cases, infants are very ill, and therefore require a staged procedure. This involves placing a tube in the stomach (gastrostomy tube), in order to decompress the stomach and prevent fluid in the stomach from flowing up the esophagus, through the fistula and into the lungs. The infant is then cared for in an intensive care unit until he or she is well enough to undergo resection of the fistula and a definitive repair of the esophagus.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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