Baby Simran was born without a normal food pipe, so this is what the doctors did to save her

Baby Simran was born without a normal food pipe, so this is what the doctors did to save her

Baby Simran was born with an incomplete food pipe, so for the first time in India, a corrective surgery was conducted on a nine-month-old infant

The nine-month-old, Baby Simran (name changed), was born with a food pipe that ended as a blind pouch. There was a gap which indicated that the oesophagus was incomplete.

Medically, this condition is called the Oesophageal atresia and is caused by an aberrant embryological development of the oesophagus.

What is this condition?

In this medical condition the food pipe is completely or partially absent. The upper food pipe ends and does not connect with the lower food pipe and the stomach.

This condition is usually detected in a new born with excessive salivation (drooling) that is frequently accompanied with choking, and coughing. When fed the usual way through the mouth, the baby swallows normally but struggles consequently as the feed returns from the nose or the mouth.

The risks in this condition are that the baby can turn cyanotic (blue) as the fluid may go into the trachea or the wind pipe.

What the doctors did

When Baby Simran was brought to Dr Amit Javed, consultant and head, G.I Surgery,  and Dr Anju Gambhir, senior consultant, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh, they decided to conduct a corrective surgery for oesophageal atresia.

It was for the first time that such a surgery was performed on a nine-month-old infant. Fortunately, the procedure was a success!

Speaking to the Indusparent, Dr Gambhir said, “The baby was born with the congenital defect of a large gap and this presented multiple challenges to the doctors. The gap had to be reconstructed. The baby had been fed for nine months through a catheter that was inserted into the stomach. The fact that the mother was managing this condition so well is really appreciable.”

Dr Javed added, "The surgical procedure is traditionally conducted through an open technique that leaves significant scars on the abdomen for a lifetime. As laparoscopic surgeries in infants is rare, the equipment used in such surgeries is also not routinely manufactured to suit the small size of the patient. Minimally invasive surgery in infants with this condition is thereby performed only in very limited centers across the world.”

What the family has to say

The infant’s mother tearfully said, “She is our first child and when we were faced with the challenge that was beyond our comprehension we were naturally demotivated. However, with Dr Javed and Dr Gambhir, our hopes, happiness and new lease of life for our baby have taken a flight. It is a relief to see normalcy returned to our child.”

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(Image for representational purposes only, courtesy: WUNC)

Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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