Esophageal atresia and fistula are malformations in which the natural breathing tube, known as the trachea, and the feeding tube, called the esophagus, are improperly formed. Most often the upper esophagus lacks a connection to the stomach while the lower esophagus connects to the trachea through an abnormal passage called a fistula. Babies with these types of malformations are fed with total parenteral nutrition (TPN) or with a feeding tube directly into the stomach. During this time, the baby gains strength and the esophagus will continue to grow. After several weeks, the malformation is repaired with surgery. About 20% of babies with these types of malformations will also have other complications, such as heart disease.