Pediatric Pulmonary Hypoplasia

Pulmonary hypoplasia is a condition associated with abnormally small lungs. Because of this there is not enough tissue and blood flow to allow a baby to efficiently breathe on their own. Pulmonary hypoplasia can also cause heart problems, difficulty feeding and pulmonary hypertension.

At the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon St. Louis Fetal Care Institute, our team treats the whole condition, both monitoring your baby’s lungs and heart and providing comprehensive treatment for any other related disorder.

If your child has been diagnosed with pulmonary hypoplasia, you can rely on our dedicated, multidisciplinary team of providers to care for your child’s every need. We coordinate and provide immediate care in our NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) as well as long-term follow-up care as your child’s lungs continue to develop.

Often times, the cause of this condition is unknown. However, it can be the result of:

How is Pulmonary Hypoplasia Diagnosed?

Pulmonary hypoplasia is typically detected through a routine ultrasound, or MRI. During these routine exams, we use measurements of lung volume and size to determine how small the fetal lungs are and whether the problem is life-threatening for your baby.

How is Pulmonary Hypoplasia Treated?

The Cardinal Glennon St. Louis Fetal Care Institute is able to surgically treat this condition prenatally. This surgical procedure is used to help delay any preterm labor, allowing your baby’s lungs to fully mature. After birth, we continue to manage your baby’s care.

Other treatment options include:

  • Use of tocolytics, antibiotics, and steroids to treat the premature rupture of membranes (when there’s no fetal distress)
  • Amnioinfusion and amniopatch techniques to increase isotonic fluid in the amniotic cavity and seal the amniotic fluid leak

Your child’s treatment plan will depend on the size of their lungs and the cause of the pulmonary hypoplasia.

What Can I Expect if My Baby is Born With Pulmonary Hypoplasia?

After delivery, your baby will require respiratory support in our NICU. Our team is able to expertly manage this challenge, in addition to any problems your baby may experience with eating, or potential cardiac issues they may face.

You may have a lot of questions, and that’s okay. We’re available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 314-268-4037 or toll free at 877-SSM-FETL (877-776-3385), or email us and one of our trusted representatives will get back to you as soon as possible.

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