Surgery helps 7-yr-old child to swallow food

Surgery helps 7-yr-old child to swallow food

The child with his parent.

A rare feat of enabling a seven-year-old child to eat (swallow) food by himself for the first time in his life has brought cheers to the family and doctors alike.

The child did not have a part of food pipe when he was born. He also had an abnormal connection between food pipe and windpipe (Esophageal atresia with Tracheoesophageal fistula). Despite surgical correction of the anomaly in the newborn period at some other hospital, the child could not swallow food because the food pipe had narrowed significantly.

His parents brought him to Department of Paediatric Surgery, Justice K S Hegde Charitable Hospital, Deralakatte, at the age of six years. The child was severely malnourished and weighed just 6kg. On evaluation, his food pipe was severely narrow and he could not function properly. A tube was inserted into the stomach directly (gastrostomy) so as to feed the child for adequate weight gain required for a definitive major surgery. After the child gained weight, a new food pipe was reconstructed using a part of the stomach brought through the chest into the neck thus establishing continuity. Surgeries were performed in three stages for one year by a team of paediatric surgeons headed by Professor Dr Sandeep Rai B, said a press release.

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