How Is Esophageal Atresia Diagnosed?


If a newborn baby chokes, coughs, and turns blue when trying to feed, doctors suspect esophageal atresia. The baby’s physician will try to pass a feeding tube through the baby’s mouth or nose to the stomach, and then take an X-ray to show the location of the tube. If the esophagus is closed off, the tube will appear coiled in the upper esophagus rather than passing down to the stomach.

In rare cases, esophageal atresia is diagnosed before birth. If ultrasound imaging shows excess amniotic fluid, or that the fetus has a small stomach, the doctor may suspect esophageal atresia.

How Is Esophageal Atresia Treated?


If a newborn has esophageal atresia, doctors will perform surgery to connect the two ends of the esophagus, allowing food taken by mouth to reach the stomach. Surgery to treat esophageal atresia is often done within a few days of a baby’s birth. NewYork-Presbyterian’s pediatric specialists use a minimally invasive surgical approach whenever possible.

As children with esophageal atresia grow and develop, they need long-term follow-up care to:

  • Prevent and treat acid reflux
  • Help with swallowing difficulties
  • Treat narrowing of the esophagus.

They may also need care for other congenital (born with) abnormalities.

Get Care

Trust NewYork-Presbyterian for Esophageal Atresia Treatment

NewYork-Presbyterian has decades of experience in the treatment of newborns with esophageal atresia, providing the most advanced technological approaches to repair the abnormality. These infants require long-term care from many specialists. Our team includes a range of experts so that a child may see multiple specialists in a single visit, rather than making many separate trips.

We have two dedicated digestive care centers that specialize in the unique needs of children. Make an appointment to have your child’s ongoing symptoms of esophageal atresia evaluated and treated.