A common complication seen shortly after birth is an aspiration pneumonia. Infants will demonstrate excessive salivation, gagging, and coughing with feeding, poor feeding, and a bluish discolouration to the skin (cyanosis).
Treatment involves the surgical repair of the esophagus before the child can take anything with the mouth.
Esophageal atresia is a disorder of the digestive system in which the esophagus does not develop properly. The esophagus is the tube that normally carries food from the mouth to the stomach.
Esophageal atresia is a congenital defect, which means it occurs before birth. There are several types. In most cases, the upper esophagus ends and does not connect with the lower esophagus and stomach.
The top end of the lower esophagus connects to the windpipe. This connection is called a tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF). Some babies with tracheoesophageal (TEF) will also have other problems, such as heart or other digestive tract disorders.
Other types of esophageal atresia involve narrowing of the esophagus, and may also be associated with other birth defects.