Newborn Congenital Anomalies

Newborn congenital anomalies, often referred to as birth defects, have a variety of causes ranging from pregnancy or birth complications to genetic malformations to viral infections in utero. In many cases, however, a congenital anomaly may have no known cause.

The surgical treatment of congenital anomalies is cutting edge at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Our pediatric surgeons perform many of the procedures using minimally invasive techniques, (thoracoscopically or laparoscopically), allowing for smaller incisions, less pain, faster healing and shorter lengths of stay in the hospital when a stay is necessary. Collaborative efforts with the other pediatric subspecialties at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh allows for all patients to receive multidisciplinary, comprehensive care.

Children’s Hospital takes full advantage of a multi-disciplinary team approach. A team of experts may include diagnostic screenings and psychiatric support in addition to surgical treatments and referrals to pediatric general surgeons, plastic surgeons and orthopaedic surgeons among others.

Chest and Abdomen

Pediatric general surgeons treat a variety of congenital anomalies of the chest and abdomen. These include tracheoesophageal fistula; duodenal atresia; jejunal and ileal atresia; biliary atresia; choledochal cysts; intestinal duplications; Hirschprung's Disease; congenital lung masses such as CCAM, CLE and pulmonary sequestion; pectus excavatum and carinatum; gastroschisis; omphalocele; conjoined twins; sacrococcygeal teratoma; meconium ileus; imperforate anus and many others.

Detailed Exam

When a congenital anomaly is discovered, a complete physical examination is important to discover and rule out multiple malformations. A detailed examination should include:

  • Head, neck and facial features
  • Skin
  • Chest wall, heart and lungs
  • Abdomen
  • Genitalia and anus
  • Spine and back
  • Extremities (including hands and feet)
  • Neurological functions and reflexes