Birth Defects

This information is useful for children
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Highly skilled surgeons who repair and treat birth defects
  • Immediate access to medical advances, based on our research
  • Experience treating both routine and complex cases

About 3 percent of babies are born with one or more birth defects, also called congenital anomalies. Parents often grapple not only with proper diagnosis but making sure their child receives the best treatment available.

At Yale Medicine, we have highly skilled surgeons who use advanced techniques and technology to repair birth defects and help children live full lives. Plus, our researchers continue to work on advances to help pediatric patients.

A birth defect develops when the structure of an organ is not formed correctly in the womb. Birth defects can be present in many forms, ranging from mild to severe, and a baby may be born with more than one.

If the defect is not detected in utero, it may be detected shortly after birth. Some birth defects are immediately visible, such as cleft lip, cleft palate, craniofacial anomalies and limb abnormalities. But others may be less conspicuous. Those types of birth defects may include congenital heart disease, diaphragmatic hernias and biliary atresia, which is a rare disease of the gallbladder and liver.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.