Congenital pulmonary anomalies include lumps made of abnormal lung tissue or improper tissue development inside the lungs. These conditions often are discovered before a baby is born by ultrasound exam.
In some cases, congenital pulmonary anomalies cause no symptoms or are so mild that no action other than regular monitoring is required. In most cases, pulmonary lesions may cause breathing problems that need to be addressed at birth or later in a child’s life.
The three most common congenital pulmonary anomalies are:
When anomalies are more prominent, symptoms can be more serious. Symptoms of congenital pulmonary anomalies may include:
These rare problems are often found on maternal ultrasound before the baby is born. A multidisciplinary team of pediatric specialists in surgery, obstetrics, maternal-fetal health, neonatology and pulmonology monitors any developing baby with a congenital pulmonary anomaly. When these problems are found before the baby is born, frequent ultrasounds are done and fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans may be needed. A care plan is created and discussed with the baby’s parents.
Most of the time no action is needed before birth as some lesions go away or get smaller. Others may grow larger and cause problems during development. If that happens, procedures can be performed before birth to prevent further damage to the growing baby.
Some babies born with a congenital pulmonary lesion require treatment the day they are born. In most cases, children born with lung lesions or lumps have no symptoms and no immediate treatment is required. Children with these conditions continue to be monitored as they grow.
Congenital pulmonary lesions may also be discovered during infancy or childhood when a chest X-ray is done due to breathing complaints.
If your unborn baby or child shows signs of a congenital pulmonary anomaly, a maternal-fetal obstetrician, pediatric surgeon or neonatologist can perform the following Trexams and tests to make a diagnosis:
The most common treatment for a congenital pulmonary anomaly is regular monitoring by a pediatric surgeon who checks the size of any lung lesions.
Children who require surgery often receive it within the first year of life. A pediatric surgeon can remove the lump or lesion in lung tissue to help restore function.
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