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After successful surgery and months of aftercare, most children born with esophageal atresia are able to eat orally from a technical point of view. Unfortunately, many of them have developed tube dependency as a result of the various interventions.
Apart from the life threatening risk right after birth, up to pulmonary hypertension which might be dangerous for a few more months, over the different breathing problems, the long-term difficulties of diaphragmatic hernia are often underestimated. Problems which are rarely taken into consideration are eating disorders, or even worse: tube dependency. How does this problem develop and how could it be avoided?
Intrauterine growth retardation means that the child during pregnancy was not able to reach its genetic growth potential. If the IUGR child has had a tube placed it is important to know if catch-up growth is expected. NoTube children who are supplied with a feeding tube and are prescribed large quantities of food in order to catch-up.
Failure to thrive describes a child that fails to meet its growth expectations, and although often referred to as a diagnosis, it is only a descriptive term and word for defining the observed state. In a large number of children the cause of reduced food intake is food refusal due to behavioural or eating disorders, these are multifactorial in origin. It is important for medical professionals to identify these and try to treat them before considering tube feeding.
A heroine’s story that started in Belgrade in 2012, when an oesophageal atresia was diagnosed at Srna’s birth.
Children with Costello syndrome often have severe feeding difficulties. They need a highly specialized treatment for learning to eat orally.
Children with Down Syndrome tend to develop habits so they get used to the tube easy and quick. A date for the removal of the tube should be appointed.
Though children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are unable to understand feelings it is still possible to help them learn to eat and try something new.
At NoTube we look after many children who were born prematurely. We treated over one hundred prematurely born children between 2009 and 2013, and helped them to lose the feeding tube.