Tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) is a birth defect in which the trachea is connected to the esophagus.
Parents often worry about the effect a TEF may have on their child's later ability to eat and participate in normal activities such as sports.
This defect almost always occurs in conjunction with tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), a condition in which the esophagus is improperly attached to the trachea, the "windpipe" that carries air into the lungs.
Type C (86.5%): Esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula, in which the upper segment of the esophagus ends in a blind pouch (EA) and the lower segment of the esophagus is attached to the trachea (TEF).
The combination of EA with TEF compromises digestion, nutrition, and respiration (breathing), creating a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.