Intestinal Atresia is the term used to describe a condition that’s related to the blockage of the intestine. This can result in the complete blockage of the intestine or just a partial one.
Causes: Intestinal atresia and stenosis is a result of the inadequate blood supply to the intestine of the baby during fetal development. It is commonly seen to run in families, but genetic research is yet to confirm it.
Symptoms and types of Intestinal atresia and stenosis change depending on which part of the intestine is obstructed, absent or narrowed.
Intestinal Atresia types:
Pyloric atresia: The obstruction is seen where the small intestine and the mouth of the stomach meet. Children with Pyloric Atresia suffer from vomiting, bloating and gas.
Duodenal atresia: It’s seen in the first portion of the small intestine. Half of the children born prematurely suffer from the same. Nearly two-thirds of the children show signs of cardiac, genitourinary, or other intestinal tract problems. 40% of them suffer from Down Syndrome. In most cases, children suffering from Duodenal atresia suffer from vomiting soon after birth and also have a distended abdomen.
Jejunoileal atresia: It is the obstruction of the middle region (jejunum) or lower region (ileum) of the small intestine. The part of the intestine that is clogged begins to expand, which reduces the absorption of nutrients and the ability to push contents through the intestinal tract.
Colonic atresia – It’s seen in 15% of babies that suffer from intestinal atresias. Here the bowel becomes dilated and the symptoms are associated with jejunoileal atresia. The condition doesn’t stand alone and is seen in relation with Small bowel atresia, Hirschsprung's disease, or gastroschisis.
Surgery is the only treatment for Intestinal Atresia. After the patient is stabilized from other corresponding symptoms, surgery is carried out. Laparoscopic insertions are made on the abdomen to analyze the intestines and check for blockage. The surgeon then makes an insertion on either side of the blockage to make openings that can be sewn together. Sometimes removal of part of the intestine is required. After completion of surgery, the child is monitored during recovery.
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