Esophageal atresia (EA) is a congenital anomaly that entails an interrupted esophagus with or without tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF). Depending on the distance of the two esophageal pouches a “short-gap” is distinguished from a “long-gap” variant. Up to 50% of newborns have additional anomalies. EA is prenatally diagnosed in 32-63% of cases. Recently, the interdisciplinary care in these children underwent substantial changes. Therefore, we summarize the current guideline of the German society of pediatric surgery for the treatment of patients with EA and distal TEF (Gross Type C). Controversies regarding the perioperative management include surgical-technical aspects, such as the thoracoscopic approach to EA, as well as general anesthesia (preoperative tracheobronchoscopy, intraoperative hypercapnia and acidosis). Moreover, postoperative complications and their management like anastomotic stricture are outlined. Despite significant improvements in the treatment of EA, there is still a relevant amount of long-term morbidity after surgical correction. This includes dysmotility of the esophagus, gastroesophageal reflux disease, recurrent respiratory infections, tracheomalacia, failure to thrive, and orthopedic complications following thoracotomy in the neonatal age. Therefore, close follow-up is mandatory to attain optimal quality of life.© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
About The Expert
Franz Wolfgang Hirsch