What is Esofagusatresi?
Your child has been born with a split throat (esofagus in Latin). Because of that there is no connection between the mouth and stomach. This resolve in that the baby cant swallow food or fluid. Every year there is about 30 babies born with this physical defect in Sweden. This problem evolves very early. In the beginning of the pregnancy the child has joint air and food passages. During the fourth week they split up to the food passage who goes from the mouth to the stomach and the air passage who goes from the mouth to the lunges. The split is a very complicated procedure and about 1 on 3000 goes wrong. This has nothing to do with what the mother does or eats during the pregnancy, it's a "misfortune of nature". Esofagusatresi usually doesn't show on the ultra scan. On the newborn baby you can almost directly notice that there is something wrong because the child has a great deal of fluid in mouth and nose. On some babies it is not discovered until its time to eat when it cant swallow. (footnote: On Matilda it took about 18 hours before they noticed)

How is it treated?
In Sweden there is four hospitals who have the knowledge to treat esofagus. Most of the children who is born with esofaguatresi has a relatively short distance between the throat and stomach, these kids are usually operated within a few days. The two parts of the food throat is connected and if there is a hole to the air throat it's closed. If the distance is longer they have to wait about two months before the operation, during the time they wait for operation they eat through a tube.

What happens after that.
How long your child has to stay in the hospital after the operation varies from a few weeks to a few months. After the operation the child can have difficulties swallowing food, this is because it's very tight where the connection is made. Sometimes food can get stuck in the throat - especially the first years. This means that the child needs extra taking care of. The food needs more preparing and the child needs longer time to eat.

This text is also available in Swedish.

On FÖRÄLDRARKANALEN is it possible to meet other parents to children who suffers from esofagusatresi.

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