Failure to Thrive
Alternate Names : FTT, Failure to Gain Weight
What are the treatments for the condition?
If the underlying cause is organic, treatment for that disorder
often brings about healthy growth. To determine if the FTT cause is organic,
the infant may be hospitalized and fed under controlled conditions. In
some cases of FTT, feedings may be given through a stomach tube
that is passed through the nose into the stomach. In extreme cases,
a gastrostomy feeding tube is placed through the abdominal wall into the
If the infant thrives and gains weight, the cause may not be
organic. The hospital setting also allows professionals to observe how the
parent interacts with the child. If the cause is thought to be environmental,
a social service evaluation may also be done to offer support to the caregivers.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
If surgery is needed to place a gastrostomy tube through
the abdominal wall into the stomach, possible side effects include
allergic reaction to the medications
used during surgery or infection at the site of surgery.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
The outcome depends on the underlying cause of the FTT.
Infants with specific physical disorders may need lifelong treatment for
the underlying disorder. Counseling and support may also prove useful
for infants who fail to thrive because of feeding disorders or parental neglect.
How is the condition monitored?
The child's healthcare provider should provide ongoing
follow up not only of the physical growth, but of the child's cognitive
and psychosocial development to assure continued progress and
provide further intervention where needed. Any new or worsening symptoms
should be reported to the healthcare provider.