Pediatric otolaryngologists—ear, nose, and throat doctors—at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone provide expert diagnosis and treatment of many airway abnormalities that affect breathing in children. Our providers offer a compassionate and personalized approach that starts with determining the cause of the airway abnormality. We then create the best treatment plan based on your child’s age and the type of airway obstruction.
If surgery is needed, procedures are performed at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital—34th Street, which is recognized by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center, the highest designation for surgical care. Patients with airway disorders also see our experts at the Pediatric Aerodigestive Center to help improve airway health.
Airway abnormalities can be congenital, meaning present at birth, or acquired. Symptoms may include stridor, or noisy breathing, along with wheezing, sleep apnea, blue spells, and chest congestion. Our specialists manage the full spectrum of disorders that can block the airway, including these:
In addition to a medical history and physical exam, our doctors may order imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI scan to view the structures in your child’s airway to determine what is causing symptoms.
Our doctors may also perform one of the following diagnostic procedures:
After a thorough assessment, your child’s doctor can discuss a treatment plan with you.
Treatment options vary by condition. Your child’s doctor may recommend watchful waiting to manage laryngomalacia or subglottic stenosis if the condition is mild and does not greatly interfere with breathing. As your child grows, the doctor checks to make sure the airway is enlarging to make more space for airflow.
Other conditions that narrow the trachea or larynx may require surgery. These are some of the surgical procedures our doctors perform:
If surgery is part of the care plan, child life specialists at Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care, are available to provide comfort and support to your child.
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