Diagnosing and Treating Aerodigestive Disorders

If your child has a breathing or swallowing disorder, we can help. The Aerodigestive Center at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh takes a team approach to treatment.

Your child's team will often include doctors from diverse fields. Plus, you'll have access to respiratory and speech therapists, sleep therapists, and more.

Our team makes sure your child gets the most complete and precise care plan.

We offer advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques, including cutting-edge surgeries, that most hospitals don't have.

Our experts think of you and your child as vital members of the care team. That's why family education and involvement in your child's care is a large part of our approach.

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.

Tests for Diagnosing Your Child's Breathing or Swallowing Disorder

Our aerodigestive experts use a wide range of tests and tools to help diagnose your child.

Flexible laryngoscopy

We use digital endoscopic video equipment to diagnose upper airway and voice disorders.

With a clear, high-res image of the airway, our doctors use these pictures to:

  • Find the nature of your child's breathing or swallowing problem.
  • Guide the treatment plan.
  • Teach you, your family, and caregivers about your child's condition.

Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES)

We're 1 of a few centers in the U.S. that provides FEES — a vital tool to help feeding and swallowing issues.

For the test, a speech therapist:

  • Passes a tiny, flexible tube with a camera through your child's nose and into the throat.
  • Then can view the tissues and muscles involved in swallowing.

Aerodigestive Disorders Treatment

At the Pediatric Aerodigestive Center, we work as a team to create a complete treatment plan for your child.

Our treatment plans aim to improve your child's airway and swallowing function. We focus on both the urgent and long-term needs of your child.

Surgery for children's breathing or swallowing disorder

We tailor each surgery to each child's unique problems and needs.

Our surgeons are experts in innovative techniques such as minimally invasive endoscopic and robotic techniques.

We offer:

  • Laser surgery.
  • Cartilage and mucosal grafting.
  • Balloon dilation.

Our skilled team provides safe and effective pediatric surgeries. We also work with you before and after the surgery so you know what to expect and how to support your child.

Speech and occupational therapy (OT)

Our speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and occupational therapists provide care for infants to teenagers.

SLPs use a range of techniques to resolve speech and swallowing problems.

OT may involve:

  • Training an infant to suck with special instruments.
  • Breathing exercises in older kids.

Have a Doctor Refer Your Child to the Aerodigestive Center

Because our center is very specialized, we only see children who:

  • Have a doctor's referral. Ask your pediatrician or specialist to refer your child.
  • Need advanced care that their local hospital doesn't provide.

Once we receive the referral, our staff will contact you to book the appointment. We will also provide details to get ready for your visit.

If you have questions about the Pediatric Aerodigestive Center, you can call us at 412-692-5460.