Aerodigestive Conditions We Treat

Children with aerodigestive conditions can have severe breathing and swallowing problems. These symptoms can affect their growth, progress, and quality of life.

Contact the Aerodigestive Center at UPMC Children's Hospital

With basic questions, call our main ENT office at 412-692-5460.

To make an appointment, call 412-692-7337.

At the Aerodigestive Center at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we diagnose and treat a range of complex breathing and swallowing disorders.

These disorders can involve the:

  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Airway
  • Lungs
  • Esophagus (food pipe)
  • Stomach

We take a complete approach to provide your child with the best care and long-term outcomes.

Breathing and Swallowing Conditions We Treat

  • Atresia of the larynx. A rare condition present at birth, in which cartilage or tissue blocks the voice box part of the airway.
  • Choanal atresia. A rare condition in which there's a blockage on 1 or both sides of the nasal cavity at birth.
  • Complete tracheal rings. A problem in the cartilage rings in the trachea, leading to breathing trouble.
  • Dysphagia and aspiration. A rare swallowing condition that causes foods and liquids to enter the lungs.
  • Esophageal atresia. A rare birth defect in which a baby is born without part of the esophagus.
  • GERD. A condition in which consumed food and liquid, as well as stomach acids, come back up the food pipe
  • Glottic stenosis. A narrowing of the larynx at the vocal cords.
  • Laryngeal clefts. Congenital malformations that create an opening between the food pipe and the lungs.
  • Laryngomalacia. A common cause of noisy breathing in infants, due to floppy tissue in the voice box.
  • Posterior glottic stenosis. A narrowing in the back of the voice box that causes severe respiratory symptoms.
  • Pyriform aperture stenosis. A rare overgrowth of the jawbone at birth that narrows the nasal opening.
  • Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Rare wart-like growths on or around the vocal cords that cause hoarseness and loud breathing.
  • Saccular cysts. Cysts found in the soft tissue in the voice box that can make it hard to breathe and cause loud breathing.
  • Severe obstructive sleep apnea. A condition in which the upper airway narrows or caves in during sleep, causing severe snoring.
  • Stridor. A high-pitched, wheezing sound caused by reduced airflow when breathing.
  • Subglottic cysts. Fluid-filled cysts in the lower part of the voice box.
  • Subglottic hemangioma. A benign tumor in the airway often found below the vocal cords.
  • Subglottic stenosis. Narrowing of the airway just below the vocal cords and above the trachea.
  • Supraglottic stenosis. Narrowing or swelling of the upper part of the voice box.
  • Tracheal stenosis. Narrowing of the trachea, the part of the airway between the voice box and the lungs.
  • Tracheocutaneous fistula. When the opening in the neck for a short-term tracheostomy fails to heal.
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula. An abnormal connection between the esophagus and the trachea.
  • Tracheomalacia. A condition where the walls of the trachea collapse, causing loud breathing.
  • Tracheostomy dependence. When a child can't breathe without a trach tube.
  • Trauma to the larynx. An injury to the voice box caused by a fall or blow to the throat.
  • Vallecular cysts. Cysts found at the base of the tongue, which can cause respiratory distress.
  • Vocal fold paralysis. A voice disorder caused when one or both of the vocal folds don't properly open and close.