Tracheal stenosis (or narrowing of the airway) is a rare and potentially life-threatening condition. It has been identified in infants and children with very noisy breathing or difficulty breathing that gets much worse when the child has a cold or respiratory infection.
Tracheal stenosis can be treated surgically with a procedure called slide tracheoplasty. Using this technique, the narrow portion of the airway is removed and the ends of the trachea are then slid over each other resulting in a bigger airway (diagram). Children with this condition require very specific care and close monitoring before and after their surgery.
To care for children with tracheal stenosis requires a team of specialists including otolaryngologists (ENT physicians), surgeons, nurses, therapists, pulmonologists, radiologists and intensive care specialists. The best and safest care is provided when this team of specialists works together to coordinate care for these children.
At Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, we have a dedicated tracheal services team. The team meets regularly to develop individual plans of care for each patient they treat and to closely monitor quality and outcomes for their patients.