Once the infant is stable, a team of specialists performs a thorough exam. These doctors, members of the Cincinnati Children’s Aerodigestive Center, will discuss their findings and treatment plan with you. Early treatment focuses on getting the infant ready for surgery to repair the airway. This may include treating any other conditions that may affect the success of the surgery.
In most cases, reconstructive surgery is not performed until the child is 4 years of age. At that time, a cricotracheal resection with a posterior graft is performed. A plastic tube that holds the airway open during healing, called a stent, along with a tracheotomy, or a T-tube (T-shaped breathing tube inserted through the skin), is left in place for six months.
Surgery for these children is challenging, and many children need more than one operation before removing the tracheotomy.