A report on the first three cases using the Connect-EATM, an innovative new device system in children born with the condition known as esophageal atresia, have just been published in Pediatrics, the leading journal for reporting advances in caring for children with difficult-to-treat medical conditions.
Esophageal atresia is a congenital condition where incomplete formation of the esophagus leaves the newborn unable to take in food orally. It occurs in approximately one in every 3,000 newborns.
In the cases reported in the Pediatrics paper, the patients ranged in age from seven to fifteen weeks at the time of treatment. The lead author on the paper was pioneering pediatric surgeon Dr. Oliver Muensterer, who performed the procedures. Also included among the paper’s authors are a group of clinicians and researchers at UCSF Surgical Innovations, including pioneering pediatric and fetal surgeon Dr. Michael Harrison, who worked closely with Dr. Muensterer in carrying out groundbreaking research that gave rise to the development of the Connect-EA. Dr. Muensterer is on the faculty of the von Hauner Children’s Hospital in Munich, Germany.
While babies who have undergone esophageal atresia repair often subsequently experience persistent challenges taking in nutrition orally, all three patients treated with the Connect-EA were taking in 100% of their nutrition orally at the end of the study’s 6 to 11 month follow-up period.
In addition to appearing to lead to favorable healing in the esophagus, an advantage of the Connect-EA for patients is the prospect of avoiding major surgery for esophageal atresia repair. The repair is accomplished by endoscopically introducing a pair of clip-like device components directly into the pouches, instead of hand-sewing the pouches together from within the abdominal cavity.
Advanced navigation technology under development at Myka Labs is designed to streamline endoscopic introduction of the clip-like device components into the pouches.