Repair of Choanal Atresia (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What to Expect After Surgery
After surgery, your baby should be able to breathe normally and will be able to breast-feed or bottle-feed. Newborns stay in the hospital for a few days. Older children who have surgery on one side may go home after a day or two. Health professionals will teach you how to suction your baby's nasal passages at home to keep the stents open until they can be removed. They also will have you watch for complications (such as infection or bleeding) and will tell you when to call if a problem develops.
After the stents are removed, the doctor may use a thin, lighted instrument (endoscope) to look into the nose to make sure the airways are open.
Why It Is Done
The surgery opens nasal passages to allow the baby to breathe. A newborn can only breathe through the nose (except when crying) in the first weeks of life.
How Well It Works
Surgery cures the problem. Most children need only one operation. But in some cases, the procedure may be repeated if the nasal passages close again.
The main risk of surgery to repair choanal atresia is needing another surgery if the airway does not stay open.
In general, children have a small risk of infection or bleeding. Any surgery involving general anesthesia carries a small amount of risk. Call the doctor if your child has bleeding, a fever of 100.5°F (38.1°C), pus coming from the nose, or you are unable to keep the stents clear so your child can breathe.
Injury to the nasal passages and skull may occur during surgery. But this is rare.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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