If a baby’s organs don’t develop correctly while they are in the uterus, they may be born with a condition that needs treatment. A congenital diaphragmatic hernia is one example.
Congenital means present at birth, and the diaphragm is the muscle just below the lungs that helps with breathing. It also separates the lungs and heart from the abdominal organs, such as the intestines, liver and stomach. A congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) develops when a baby’s diaphragm doesn’t form correctly, leaving an opening between the chest and abdomen. This opening can allow abdominal organs – most often the intestines – to move out of the abdomen and into the chest.
CDH can cause several complications:
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is usually found by ultrasound exams done during pregnancy.
If your baby has a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a fetal MRI may be used to better understand your child's problems so appropriate treatment can be planned.
Mercy takes a team approach to caring for babies with CDH. Together, our neonatologists and pediatric pulmonologists, cardiologists and surgeons develop a personalized treatment plans based on the severity of the condition and the baby’s overall health.
Mercy offers the most advanced treatments including:
Fortunately, most children born with CDH will have no long-term problems. Mercy’s expert, compassionate specialists are dedicated to helping your baby recover from CDH and live a healthy life.