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What is an esophageal fistula? How do you get one?

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Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
Family Medicine

In brief: See below

A tracheo-esophageal fistula is an abnormal pathway between the trachea (windpipe) and the esophagus (tube that connects the throat with the stomach).
It may be present at birth as a congenital defect or may be acquired as when an esophageal cancer extends into the trachea. If the fistula is patent (open) food can pass through it into the trachea & lungs, causing an aspiration pneumonia.

In brief: See below

A tracheo-esophageal fistula is an abnormal pathway between the trachea (windpipe) and the esophagus (tube that connects the throat with the stomach).
It may be present at birth as a congenital defect or may be acquired as when an esophageal cancer extends into the trachea. If the fistula is patent (open) food can pass through it into the trachea & lungs, causing an aspiration pneumonia.
Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
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