Long-term quality of life (QOL) in adults after correction of esophageal atresia (EA) is comparable with that of healthy adults.
Outcome study with a consecutive sample and follow-up after 16 years or longer.
Pediatric surgical center (academic center) in a tertiary hospital.
Patients and Methods
A questionnaire was sent to 119 consecutive surviving adults who were treated for EA between 1947 and 1986. The questionnaire was to assess sociodemographic characteristics and generic and disease-specific QOL and contained 3 open-ended questions about the consequences of the disease in daily life. Clinical characteristics were collected from patient case notes.
Ninety-seven (82%) of the 119 questionnaires were completed and returned. When comparing the generic QOL of patients who had EA with that of healthy subjects, we found no differences in overall physical and mental health. The presence of concomitant congenital anomalies did not influence generic QOL. A third of the patients reported that EA had had negative effects on their daily lives. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as dysphagia were most often mentioned (23%).
In general, after EA correction, patients perceive their generic and disease-specific QOL to be good. The presence of concomitant congenital anomalies did not influence generic QOL. However, a third of patients reported that the disease had had negative consequences.