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Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

We wanted to give our patients an overview of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) due to recent member of our Mill Creek Ob/Gyn family having a baby with this condition. This condition affects 1 of 2500 pregnancies.

Here is some basic information about CDHs:

  • A CDH is a hole in the diaphragm (the muscle under the lungs that is responsible for breathing) that allows organs from the abdomen to move into the chest
  • A CDH can often be diagnosed during a routine ultrasound. If it’s not diagnosed during pregnancy, it is usually diagnosed shortly after birth when a baby is having trouble breathing.
  • The outlook for babies born with CDH is increasingly positive with new surgical techniques and ways to support babies as they heal.


What happens when a child has a CDH?

  • The contents of the baby’s abdomen, including the stomach, intestines, liver and spleen may go through the hole and into his chest.
  • This prevents the normal development of the lung on that side, and may also affect the growth of the other lung. And when the baby’s lungs don’t fully develop, he will have trouble breathing after he is born.

When the organs from the abdomen prevent the lungs from growing, the poor lung growth is called pulmonary hypoplasia. When this happens, the baby is unable to take in enough oxygen to stay healthy.

Treatments include supportive treatments like oxygen as well as surgery.
In memory of Aubrey Borgen, daughter of Melissa and Chris Borgen. Many of you know Melissa as Missy, LPN in our office.

Reference: Boston Children’s Hospital Website