Esophageal Atresia and Tracheoesophageal Fistula | Complications


Does my baby have any other problems?

Some babies who have esophageal atresia also have heart problems, kidney problems, stomach and bowel problems or muscle and bone problems. A physical exam by your doctor, maybe with some other X-ray or ultrasound pictures, will usually show if your baby has other problems. If your baby has other problems, the surgery to fix the swallowing tube might have to wait until these problems can be fixed.

Will my baby have other problems in the future?

Babies born with esophageal atresia sometimes have long-term problems, the most common of which is gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. GERD is similar to heartburn, and can usually be treated with medicine.

Another problem is scar tissue. Sometimes scar tissue grows where the esophagus connects to the stomach. This scar tissue can make swallowing hard or painful because the food can't easily get past the scar tissue. Sometimes another surgery is needed to open the scar tissue.

Your child may need more X-rays or endoscopy later to check on the area where the surgery was performed. Endoscopy is a way of taking a picture of the inside of the body. A narrow tube holding a tiny camera is put into the esophagus. The picture helps your doctor see inside the esophagus and stomach.


Esophageal Atresia and Tracheoesophageal Fistula by DC Clark (American Family Physician February 15, 1999,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 02/99


Esophageal Atresia and Tracheoesophageal Fistula


Causes & Risk Factors

Diagnosis & Tests