The outcome of this surgery depends on how well your baby's lungs have developed. Some babies have other medical problems, including problems with the brain, muscles, and joints, which may slow recovery.
Usually, the outlook is good for infants who have well-developed lung tissue. Most babies who are born with a diaphragmatic hernia are very ill and will stay in the hospital for a long time. With advances in medicine, the outlook for these infants is gradually improving.
All babies who have had diaphragmatic hernia repairs will need to be watched closely to make sure the hole in their diaphragm does not open up again as they grow.
Babies who had a large opening or defect in the diaphragm, or who had more problems with their lungs after birth, may have lung disease after they leave the hospital. They may need oxygen, medicines, and a feeding tube for months or years.
Some babies will have problems crawling, walking, talking, and eating. They will need to see physical or occupational therapists to help them develop muscles and strength.