How long can you wait before having surgery for an esophageal atresia?

Hours/days not more. Esophageal atresia prevents a kid from receiving fluids & maintaining normal metabolic balance. While awaiting surgery, mouth secretions can build up in the remnant and transfer into the lungs causing pneumonia.Stabalization with IV fluids, suction & close monitoring is reasonable until the kid can be moved to a center where surgery can procede. Further delays deminish the chances for good outcome.
You cannot. If it is true atresia, that is the esophagus is not continuous then some surgery is warranted in the first few days of life. Depending on the type of atresia, the weight of the child and other associated conditions the options can include connecting the esophagus. Other times any abnormal connections to the trachea have to be separated.
Variable. Depends on the child's health and type of atresia. Healthy, term children undergo surgery in 1-2 days. Those that are premies or who have associated cardiac disease may have to wait (for weeks or months). While waiting, a tube is placed into the esophageal pouch to drain secretions. A g-tube can be placed to decompress the stomach & minimize risk of aspiration in patients with te fistula.

Related Questions

How can you treat a really bad cough when you had esophageal atresia surgery a long time ago?

Mgt/workup. It really depends on the underlying cause. If you have had a repair of esophageal atresia, there can be areas of swelling that may impinge on the airway. I would recommend seeing your physician and having pulmonary function testing and a TB test. A virtual appt is available online. Read more...

What can you do if you got a really bad cough and you had esophageal atresia surgery as a baby?

Uber-late fistula. With esophageal atresia, one would worry whether you ever had a tracheo-esophageal fistula. If so, the cough could signal some kind of leak in the integrity of the esophagus. Get to an ENT (airway) or GI (food path) so that you can get checked out. Read more...