Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children - Center for Maternal/Fetal Health

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia care in Denver

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a birth abnormality in which the diaphragm does not form properly. The expert perinatologists, pediatric surgeons and neonatologists of the Center for Maternal/Fetal Health  at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC) are specially trained to diagnose and treat this rare condition.

In addition, our staff and facility are uniquely equipped to handle the careful treatment of your baby’s health during pregnancy as well as during and after birth.

To find an expert perinatologists or pediatric surgeon, contact our Center for Maternal/Fetal Health at (720) 754-7642

Treatment for congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Babies who have been diagnosed with CDH are carefully monitored during pregnancy and a plan for delivery is arranged at a specialized facility, such as RMHC. Most babies with CDH do not require a cesarean section (c-section) for delivery. However, many CDH babies require a ventilator or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) after birth. Therefore, it is important to plan delivery at a hospital specially equipped with a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit  (NICU), perinatologists, neonatologists, expert pediatric surgeons and experienced staff.

Complications of this condition include pneumothorax (collapsed lung), pulmonary hypertension (increased blood pressure in lung circulation), respiratory failure or need for ECMO. After birth, the baby is stabilized and surgery is planned. Our surgeons use a minimally invasive thoracoscopic approach to move the displaced organs back to the abdomen and repair the hole.

To talk with our specialists about a possible diagnosis and treatment plan, please call (720) 754-7642.

Long-term outlook for congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Babies with CDH often require long-term follow-up care. Complications can include gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disease (GERD), developmental delays, chronic lung disease, hearing loss, asthma and/or failure to thrive. Our team provides careful monitoring, treatment and follow-up care to allow CDH babies to live happy, full lives.

Understanding CDH Treatment