Castilloux et al reported risk factors for short and long-term morbidity following surgical correction of esophageal atresia in an infant. About half of the patients undergoing surgery develop one or more complications, some of which may be life-threatening. The authors are from Universite de Montreal in Quebec.

Complication selection: significant enough to require therapeutic intervention and/or negatively impact the patient’s or family’s quality of life


Complications that may develop following surgery for esophageal atresia:

(1) severe gastroesophageal reflux

(2) esophageal stricture requiring more than 1 dilatation

(3) recurrent tracheoesophageal fistula requiring surgery

(4) need for gavage feedings for 3 or more months

(5) severe tracheomalacia

(6) severe chronic respiratory disease (from aspiration, etc)



• Severe gastroesophageal reflux was defined by moderate to severe esophagitis, need for fundoplication, need for jejunal feedings, and/or Barrett’s metaplasia.

• Severe tracheomalacia was defined the presence of cyanotic spells, changes seen on bronchoscopy, need for aortopexy and/or need for tracheostomy.


Late complications may include:

(1) Barrett’s esophagus with dysplasia

(2) malignancy (esophageal adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma)

(3) death


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