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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Failure to Thrive: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Food, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Failure to Thrive

Alternate Names : FTT, Failure to Gain Weight

Failure to Thrive | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

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 stomach.

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.

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Failure to Thrive: Prevention & Expectations


Author: John Wegmann, MD
Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 08/15/02

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