Small bowel is the area of the intestine present in between the colon (large bowel) and the stomach. It's main function is to absorb food. An atresia usually occurs in the bowel. It is characterized by a gap which causes an obstruction of the bowel. It mainly occurs in babies and infants.
Small bowel atresia occurs due to damage to the blood vessels inside the bowel. This can happen during pregnancy at any time. Sometimes an operation is also required so that the bowels can be joined back and the ends of the atresia be cut off.
It is important to consult a neonatologist or a pediatric specialist if your baby develops symptoms of small bowel atresia. The doctor usually passes a tube into the stomach through the nose to drain away any sort of fluid. A drip can also be used to pass nutrients into the body and to stop milk feeds. Small bowel atresia is usually diagnosed by performing abdominal X-ray or Fetal echocardiogram (a specialized ultrasound which gives a view of the baby's heart). A visit to an experienced gastroenterologist may help get relief from the condition.
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