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. Aortic atresia is a rare defect
that involves valves in the heart.
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: