Intestinal atresia (IA) is present at birth. It is an area of the intestine that has not formed the right way. In some, the intestine may be fully closed. Food or fluids cannot pass through.
IA can happen in the small or large intestines and may be named by where it is found:
- Pyloric—just after the stomach
- Duodenal—first part of the small intestine by the stomach
- Jejunal—small intestine between the upper and lower parts
- Ilial—happens in the last part of small intestine
- Colonic—happens in the large colon
|Normal Anatomy of the Intestines|
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IA cannot be treated until after birth.
Surgery will be done to repair the intestine. Supportive care will be given.
Nutrition normally enters the body through the intestines. When the intestines are not working the right way, nutrition will be delivered into the blood stream. The baby will have an IV or small belly button tube. Nutrition will be delivered through the tube before and after surgery.
After surgery, the intestines will need a few days or weeks to heal. Small amounts of breast milk or formula will be slowly introduced to the baby. IV nutrition will support the baby during this time. The IV will be removed when the baby can tolerate enough breast milk or formula.
Remove Gas and Fluids
Fluid and gas can build up in the intestine. They can cause swelling and vomiting. The fluid and gas can cause problems during surgery.
A tube will be passed through the nose and into the stomach. The tube will drain fluids and gas out of the stomach and intestines. This will ease some of the pressure in the abdomen.
Surgery will be needed to remove the damaged part of the intestine. The healthy parts will be reconnected. More steps may depend on the amount of intestine that is damaged. A large area may need more than one surgery.
A feeding tube may be placed through the abdomen. This tube will help drain the stomach and provide food.
Surgery in the lower intestine may also need a colostomy. The upper part of the intestine that is left is attached to an opening in the abdominal wall. This will allow waste to pass out of the body and give the lower intestines time to heal.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Pyloric Atresia; Duodenal Atresia; Ilial Atresia; Jejunal Atresia; Colonic Atresia; Atresia, Intestinal)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
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