What to Expect at Your First Appointment for Airway Reconstruction
Breathing is life, and if your child has difficulties, that impacts everything else for them. You have likely been seeking care for a while, and you’re ready for solutions. We have them. It’s time for action, which is why we typically need about a week to perform a wide range of tests and evaluations on your child.
We know it seems like a lot, but our goal is to have the information we need to begin treatment to help your child breathe well again. If you’re traveling to our facility, we want to make sure we’re using your time wisely. Approximately 90% of our patients are from out of town, so we take special care to help you make arrangements for places to stay during your child’s evaluation and treatment.
Making an Appointment for Airway Reconstruction
We want it to be easy for you to get the care your child needs. Most likely, your child’s physician will refer you to our division. This can include ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeons, pulmonologists and pediatric surgeons. You can either self-refer or have your physician refer your child by contacting us.
The Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery is on the third floor of Location C (Outpatient Services Building) on the Burnet Campus of Cincinnati Children’s.
Before Your Appointment
All scheduling for new airway reconstruction patients is performed by our ENT coordinators, and you will complete registration through our intake coordinator. We may ask you to provide medical documents via MyChart or to bring them to your first visit.
Depending on what kinds of specialists your child will see—and which tests and procedures they need—you may need to make specific preparations. Each individual department will contact you if that is necessary.
On the Day of Your Visit for Airway Reconstruction
What Should You Bring?
We recommend that every patient with a tracheostomy travel with an emergency bag everywhere they go, including doctor’s appointments. Supplies in the emergency bag should include the following:
- Same size and length tracheotomy tube with ties already in place with obturator
- One size smaller tracheotomy tube with the ties already in place with obturator
- Suction machine (unit should be fully charged) with tubing
- Suction catheters
- Self-inflating bag with face mask and adaptors, if indicated
- Normal saline
- Extra tracheotomy ties
- Water based lubricant
- DeLee suction
- Phone list
- Syringe, if the trach tube has a cuff with sterile water
Arriving At Your Appointment
Please arrive at the hospital 30 minutes ahead of your appointment time. This allows 15 minutes to park and walk from the parking garage and 15 minutes to check in at our front desk. Bring your most recent insurance card, Aid to Dependent Children (ADC)/Medicaid card or Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH) letter of approval with you.
At Your Appointment
During your first visit, our goal is to perform a comprehensive evaluation involving multiple appointments, tests and surgical procedures. As a result, it will take about four to five days. Here’s an example of what your child’s schedule might be:
Monday – Anesthesia consult, feeding/swallowing evaluation.
Tuesday – Computed tomography (CT) scan, clinic visits with gastroenterology and pulmonology.
Wednesday – Operating room for triple scopes. Your child may stay in the hospital that night if they are having an impedance probe or if their medical condition warrants a hospital stay.
Thursday/Friday – Swallowing study and possibly other clinic visits or tests. If your child needs a sleep study, they will stay overnight for it.
During their appointment, your child may see a gastroenterologist, ENT physician, pulmonologist, pediatric surgeon, registered dietitian or nurse practitioner. Each specialist brings their own expertise to ensure your child gets the best care and the most appropriate treatment plan.
After Your Visit for Airway Reconstruction
You will receive an “After Visit Summary” at the end of your appointment. It will include important details about upcoming appointments, test results, referrals to specialists and all medications (including new prescriptions). It also will include contact information for your child’s care team.