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Babies who have TEF by itself (without esophageal atresia) often don’t show any symptoms at birth. Symptoms that eventually emerge include:
If your child has both TEF and EA, the symptoms are usually obvious right after birth. The most common signs of combined TEF/EA are:
Babies with TEF/EA may have other problems that are linked to the conditions. Learn more about the conditions we treat.
As a fetus is growing and developing in the mother's uterus before birth, the trachea and the esophagus begin developing as one single tube. At about four to eight weeks after conception, a wall forms between the fetus' esophagus and trachea to separate them into two distinct tubes. If this wall does not form properly, a range of anomalies, such as TEF, can occur.
After repair of a primary TEF, there is a chance the TEF will return (recurrent TEF). Sometimes the cause is an infection during surgery that damages the trachea. Once a TEF recurs, the increased esophageal pressure forces fluids into the airway during swallowing. Eventually the TEF becomes lined with mucosa and becomes permanent.
To make an appointment or speak with a member of our team, please call 617-355-3038.
For families residing outside of the United States, please call Boston Children's International Health Services at +01-617-355-5209.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”