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Arch Dis Child. 1990 Jan;65(1):84-8.

Growth and feeding problems after repair of oesophageal atresia.

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  • 1Institute of Child Health, University of Birmingham.


Of 230 families belonging to a support group for parents of children born with oesophageal atresia, 124 returned a detailed questionnaire on feeding history and growth. Being slow to feed, refusing meals, coughing or choking during eating, and vomiting at meal times were significantly more common than in 50 healthy control children. Anthropometric analysis indicated that almost one third of patients were growth retarded, although those with a primary oesophageal anastomosis were less likely to be stunted or wasted compared with children who had an oesophageal substitution preceded by an oesophagostomy. Feeding problems tended to resolve spontaneously but slowly, with half of all children still reporting some difficulties at 7 years of age. Parents were considerably worried by feed related symptoms and families benefited from mutual support. There is a need for additional help and advice to be provided both by hospital staff interested in nutrition and feeding disorders and those professionals involved with primary care.

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