The Aerodigestive Center at Cincinnati Children’s is the first pediatric center in the nation to take a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to caring for chronically ill children with complex airway, pulmonary, sleep and upper digestive tract disorders.
This coordination is essential, since these children require care from multiple pediatric specialists. Our team members work together to determine the best care plan for each child. We work with a wide range of specialists to provide the most comprehensive assessment and treatment for children with these complex disorders.
The VPI (Velopharyngeal Insufficiency / Incompetence) Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s specializes in the evaluation and treatment of patients with hypernasality and other resonance disorders. The cause of these disorders is usually some form of velopharyngeal dysfunction. Airway obstruction can also cause or contribute to abnormal speech and resonance.
The VPI Clinic is associated with the Craniofacial Center, also at Cincinnati Children’s.
Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) is a study that allows an assessment of the areas surrounding the voice box and opening of the esophagus through the use of a small flexible telescope.
The telescope is passed through the nose after anesthetizing this area to minimize pain or discomfort. Once the telescope is in position, the child is given various foods, and the specialist evaluates the swallowing process.
This evaluates the developmental and structural aspects of the upper aerodigestive tract, to determine the safety of the child’s swallowing ability.
The FEES study requires the services of both pediatric otolaryngology and speech-language pathology.
Tests and Procedures