Esophageal Atresia

This information is useful for children
A couple sits, holding hands while listening to their doctor, possibly discussing a diagnosis of esophageal atresia for their child

Esophageal atresia is a congenital disorder in which a baby’s esophagus does not form properly during pregnancy.

The esophagus is a tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. With esophageal atresia, babies have two separate tubes instead of one—and they are not connected to each other. As a result, the baby is unable to digest milk or other fluids. 

Esophageal atresia often occurs with another rare problem, tracheoesophageal fistula (TE fistula). A baby with esophageal atresia has a connection between the esophagus and the trachea (windpipe) going in to the lungs. Normally, the esophagus and the trachea are two separate tubes that are not connected to one another.

At Yale Medicine, our maternal-fetal specialists are experts in treating rare conditions like esophageal atresia and TE fistula—and many more problems that arise in utero. Our Fetal Care Center is the only of its kind in the state and one of just a few in the Northeast.

Our Yale Medicine surgeons are skilled at several treatments for esophageal atresia and TE fistula.