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Are congenital diaphragmatic hernias life-threatening?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Congenital diaphragmatic hernias are life-threatening. Early diagnosis and surgery can help lower mortality rate. Surgery is always needed to treat this birth defect. Neonatal intensive care before and after surgery is a critical component of the treatment plan. Because the infant's lung or lungs are likely to be damaged or underdeveloped they will need a ventilator or heart/lung bypass to help them breath. More than 80 percent of children with this type of hernia will survive.

Continue Learning about Gastrointestinal Tract Birth Defects

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.