A to Z: Atresia, Choanal

A to Z: Atresia, Choanal

A to Z: Atresia, Choanal

Atresia (ah-TREE-zhah) is a condition in which a baby is born with a missing or closed valve or tube somewhere in his or her body.

Choanal (KO-uh-nul) atresia, a defect of the nasal passages (choana), is a condition in which the nasal airway is narrowed or blocked by tissue. It can affect one or both sides.

More to Know

Air, blood, bodily fluids, and waste products travel throughout the body in a system of vessels, tubes, and chambers that are often separated by valves. When a child is born with atresia, it means that a valve is missing or a tube is closed off. This interrupts the normal flow of blood, fluid, waste, or air, which can lead to a number of complications.

Most kinds of atresia are serious and can be fatal if they go untreated. Treatment usually involves surgery while the child is still an infant.

Atresia can affect many body parts, including the nose, ears, organs, digestive tract, and heart. The types of atresia are named for the body parts they affect:

Keep in Mind

Most kinds of atresia can be treated successfully with surgery; some cases may require more than one operation.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
OrganizationAmerican College of Surgeons The website of the American College of Surgeons provides consumer information about common surgeries such as appendectomy.
Related Articles
When Your Baby Is Born With a Health Problem If you're expecting a baby, it's important to understand that certain health problems and complications can't be prevented, no matter how smoothly the pregnancy goes.
Birth Defects Many parents assume that all birth defects are severe or even fatal, but many are treatable, often immediately after birth - and sometimes even before the baby is born.
When Your Baby Has a Birth Defect If your child has a birth defect, you don't have to go it alone - lots of people and resources are available to help you.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter