Congenital lung abnormalities

These happen when your child’s lungs or breathing system haven’t developed properly.

For example, there could be a problem with their lungs, called pulmonary hypoplasia, the blood supply or their airways. Their diaphragm may squash their lung, called diaphragmatic hernia.

(Your diaphragm is the big umbrella of muscle under our lungs, at the bottom of your rib cage. It contracts when we breathe, so pulling the lungs down, stretching and expanding them.)

Pulmonary hypoplasia is  when the lung does not develop fully in the womb.

Pulmonary agenesis is the complete absence of a lung on one side. This is a consequence of a major problem with lung development in early pregnancy and is often associated with other congenital abnormalities, such as heart problems.

Your child will usually go to specialised centres to investigate and manage these conditions.

If you have concerns or need advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

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Last medically reviewed: September 2016. Due for review: September 2019

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.