Esophageal Atresia

What is circumcision?

A circumcision is the removal of the loose skin, called the foreskin, at the end of the penis.

What are some factors I should consider in the decision whether or not to circumcise my son?

There are many reasons to choose or not choose circumcision. Cultural and religious beliefs usually are considered along with medical information. General surgery team members are happy to answer your medical questions as you make the best decision for your family.

Some medical experts believe that circumcision is medically beneficial while others disagree. There are studies showing that urinary tract infections are less common in circumcised boys. However, urinary tract infections are relatively rare in boys anyway. Studies of sexual function in circumcised and uncircumcised males show very few differences between the two groups. In some populations, circumcision reduces the risk of contracting AIDS. Penile cancer (also a very rare disease) is less common among circumcised men.

Experts agree that if your child is diagnosed with hypospadias, he should not be circumcised until after the hypospadias is treated.

When data and costs were reviewed, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Canadian Pediatric Society recommended against circumcision except in response to parents' personal preference. Before choosing circumcision, parents may want to review the AAP statement on circumcision and should check insurance coverage for this procedure, as coverage for routine circumcisions varies from insurer to insurer.

What can I expect after a circumcision?

The end of the penis may be red and swollen. It may ooze a little blood for the first several hours, and may be tender for a few days. It will heal in about a week. If there are stitches, they will dissolve on their own within 1 to 3 weeks. The day after the procedure, your son may return to school or daycare. Avoid any riding toys or straddling activities. See our fact sheet (PDF) with additional information.

About circumcision at Children's

Circumcision is one of the most common surgeries performed at Children's. The general surgery team, which performs circumcisions, provide next-generation care to neonatal infants, newborns, children, and adolescents from throughout the Upper Midwest. Circumcisions are performed at Children's – Minneapolis, Children's - St. Paul, and Children's West.

  • If you are a family member looking for a Children's specialist in general surgery, please visit Find a Doctor.
  • If you are a health professional looking for a consultation or referral information, please call Children's Physician Access at 1-866-755-2121 (toll-free).

What is it?

Esophageal atresia is a congenital (from birth) defect. The esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth and the stomach. In esophageal atresia, the esophagus doesn't connect to the stomach but instead ends as a blind pouch. Esophageal atresia often is accompanied by tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), which is an abnormal opening between the trachea (windpipe) and the esophagus. Sometimes other problems are present in the heart, spine, anus, and kidneys.

What are the symptoms?

Usually esophageal atresia is diagnosed just after birth while your newborn is still in the hospital. When babies with this condition are fed, they swallow normally but begin to cough and choke as the fluid is blocked by the incomplete esophagus. The fluid typically comes up through the nose and mouth. The baby may turn blue or stop breathing if fluid is aspirated (sucked into the lungs.) These babies usually also drool, cough, and sneeze excessively.

How is it treated?

Esophageal atresia, and tracheoesophageal fistula are treated with surgery that can be performed at Children's shortly after birth. In severe cases, where your child's esophagus is not long enough to allow its two ends to be reconnected, additional procedures are necessary. A gastrostomy may be performed, which allows your child to be fed through a tube into the stomach. A cervical esophagostomy may be necessary to allow saliva to drain out of a hole in the neck. Months or years later, after your child grows, a surgery will reconnect the two sections of the esophagus and remove the gastrostomy and esophagostomy. Often, children with esophageal atresia will have trouble with swallowing or heart burn later in life.

About surgery for esophageal atresia at Children's

The surgeries for esophageal atresia are commonly performed at Children's and often can be performed within days of birth. Pediatric general surgery teams at Children's provide next-generation care for esophageal atresia to children from throughout the Upper Midwest and consistently perform some of the most cutting-edge surgical procedures available, including newborn surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and robotic surgery, when appropriate. Surgery for esophageal atresia is performed at Children's - Minneapolis and Children's - St. Paul.

Contact us

  • If you are looking for a Children's specialist in gastrointestinal surgery, please visit Find a Doctor.

  • If you are a health professional looking for a consultation or referral information, please call Children's Physician Access at 1-866-755-2121 (toll-free).