How to Treat Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia With Surgery

Posted on: 10 February 2017


If your child is born with a diaphragmatic hernia, then you should be concerned. This condition makes it hard for a baby to breathe after birth. If your baby cannot take in enough oxygen, then it is going to be hard for him or her to stay healthy. Your child is going to have problems with the development of his or her lungs, digestive system and heart. Read on to find out how surgery can improve your child's condition.  

What is Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia?

A diaphragmatic hernia is a birth defect that causes an abnormal opening in your diaphragm. Your diaphragm is the muscle located between your stomach and chest. It helps you to breathe.  

This abnormal opening allows organs like your liver, spleen, intestines and stomach to travel into your chest cavity. Your chest cavity houses your lungs. The displacement of these organs affects how your lungs grow and develop.  

What Are The Symptoms?

This condition shows up soon after your baby is born. Common symptoms include fast breathing, difficulty breathing, fast heart rate, concave abdomen, cyanosis and one side of the chest may be larger than the other. Congenital diaphragmatic hernia also acts like other diseases that causes problems with how your baby breathes.  

How Is This Condition Treated? 

Before surgery can be done, your doctor must increase your child's oxygen levels and stabilize his or her breathing. The stabilization process starts by inserting a tube through the mouth into your baby's trachea. This tube is connected to a breathing machine, which stabilizes your child's breathing. 

After your baby's breathing, has improved, the next step is to repair the diaphragmatic hernia through surgery. A diaphragmatic hernia surgery consists of moving the intestines, stomach, spleen and liver back to their proper positions. The hole in your diaphragm is also closed. This surgery is usually done within 24 to 48 hours after the delivery of your baby.  

What Happens After Surgery?

Your baby must stay in the neonatal intensive care unit for a while. His or her lungs are still under developed. For this reason, your baby will be on breathing support. 

Most children can live a normal life after the surgery. Your child also may continue to have lung problems and other medical concerns. It is important that you take your child for follow-up appointments to make sure he or she is healing properly. Your child would also benefit from being under the care of a specialist. For more information, contact a business such as Surgery  Group SC.