An echocardiogram and chest x rays may be done to evaluate the infant for any other possible abnormalities, including cardiac defects and abnormal development of the pancreas, which is often associated with duodenal obstruction.
It involves opening the duodenum channel along its length from the stomach to the next portion of intestine, correcting the duodenal lumen end to end (gastrojejunal anastomosis) so that it is a fully open channel.
If malrotation or duodenal volvulus has caused the blood supply to be cut off in a portion of the intestine before surgery, death of intestinal tissue can result and life-threatening gangrene can develop.
Duodenal atresia, one of the causes of duodenal obstruction, affects one in 10,000 live births in the United States and is found equally among boys and girls and more often among premature births.
In infants and children, congenital defects (anomalies) usually cause duodenal obstruction, and symptoms are present at birth or shortly after when the infant attempts to feed.
Because of modern medical treatments, including antibiotics to treat infections and surgery to treat heart defects and duodenal atresia, life expectancy has greatly increased.
Duodenal atresia can occur with other conditions such as a narrowing of the duodenal lumen (duodenal stenosis) or twisting of the duodenum around itself (duodenal volvulus).
The duodenal channel may be underdeveloped (duodenal hypoplasia), narrowed (duodenal stenosis), or the duodenum channel may not be properly formed (duodenal atresia).
Parents can be reassured that newer surgical techniques have constantly improved the outcome of surgeries for intestinal obstruction, including duodenal obstruction.
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